‘The Rise of Skywalker’ Came This Close to Breaking a Christmas Day Record

A headline of a Star Wars movie coming in second place for all-time Christmas Day franchise box office might have been unheard of just a few years ago. While The Rise of Skywalker has still made hundreds of millions of worldwide, it’s faltered a little more than initial expectations. Some might find this surprising considering how much fan service the film offers, which might have been its problem.

Others who support the film might puzzle over what fans really want to see. Yet, with new rumors Disney possibly sabotaged J.J. Abrams’ ideas, maybe the public response was a message to the Mouse House.

It’s worth taking a minute to see what kind of impact those Christmas box office figures mean for the future of Star Wars and whether Disney+ will be its exclusive home for now on.

Which ‘Star Wars’ movie beat ‘TRoS’ in the Christmas Day box office list?

'The Rise of Skywalker" at a mall in Beijing
‘The Rise of Skywalker poster | NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images

Let’s make it clear first: The Rise of Skywalker was definitely #1 at the box office for 2019’s Christmas week. The biggest fans all rushed to see it first, including in the initial opening days a few days before Christmas.

While it was #1 through the holiday season, some very human dramas were nipping at its heels. Films like Little Women and Uncut Gems came very close to the #1 spot. Other movie analysts might say this is a sign of audiences wanting stories with real people everyone can relate to rather than continually absorbing fantastical tales with unrealistic endings.

Not that The Rise of Skywalker didn’t have a spectacular ending, outside of some credulity issues in how the final battle is won so quickly. Maybe the reports of writer Chris Terrio wanting to divide it up into two parts would have been a smart idea after all to feel less rushed.

Whether it would have helped or hurt it is impossible to know. Disney likely wouldn’t have been crazy about such a thing since the box office figures could have been harmed.

As it stands now, The Force Awakens is now the most successful at the box office for Christmas Day out of the new 2010s trilogy.

What about that 60% box office drop in its second week?

Most headlines still give glowing worldwide box office returns for TRoS. The reality, though, is the film reportedly dropped 60% in just its second week of release. News like this sounds impossible for any type of Star Wars product, even though times have changed from when TFA released four years ago.

Streaming has now taken over as the center of importance, including Disney+’s debut last November being a more profound moment in the history of media than anyone fully comprehends. The Mandalorian also likely changed the entire trajectory of Star Wars and its directions for the future.

As of 2020, a new big-screen epic involving the Star Wars franchise is very much in doubt. Yes, Lucasfilm will supposedly announce a new film scheduled for 2022. Still, what are the chances it’ll release on Disney+ first before any rollout in a movie theater?

Thanks to The Mandalorian becoming a bigger classic than TRoS probably will, all future Star Wars media may be centered on Disney+ from now on. The risks for having flat box office returns are just too great at this point.

Jon Favreau is the likely go-to guy for most things ‘Star Wars’

After all the criticisms of Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams’ ideas for Star Wars, the biggest revelation is that Jon Favreau is arguably the best person suited to write future movies/shows.

What makes him so good is he keeps one foot in the realm of nostalgia with the original trilogy, which may have to be the way forward to keep fans interested. At the same time, he’s also able to create new stories far away from the Skywalker saga as he did with The Mandalorian.

As such, the box office drop of TRoS may give rise to all Star Wars being shows or one-shot movies on Disney+ for decades ahead. Favreau may head most of these, making him one busy director/writer likely long into his elder years.