You Won’t Believe Which Movie Is Beating ‘Star Wars’ at the Box Office

If any film should have been a success, it was Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The film is the third act of a very successful trilogy, so it should have had an enormous built-in audience. Here’s how The Rise of Skywalker managed to make over a billion dollars, all while disappointing Disney and getting beaten at the box office by a smaller film.

BB-8 and R2-D2 at the opening night of Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

How a film can succeed and fail at the box office simultaneously

Just because a film turns a profit doesn’t mean it’s considered a success. Sometimes a film makes its budget back and then some without making as much money as its studio expected. The Rise of Skywalker falls into this category. Here’s why.

The film has made just under a billion dollars so far. In terms of raw numbers, it’s a success. IndieWire reports the movie cost $275 million, so it’s not as if Disney will suffer any financial losses.

How ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ compares to other films

BB-8 at the ARDYs: A Radio Disney Music Celebration| Image Group LA via Getty Images

The Rise of Skywalker is in its fourth week, reports Forbes. It suffered the second worst fourth week drop at the box office of all time. In terms of fourth week drops, The Rise of Skywalker is ahead of only Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Ask most most superhero fans, and they’ll tell you Batman v Superman isn’t illustrious company.

The Week reports The Rise of Skywalker was dethroned from the number-one spot at the box office by Sam Mendes’ movie 1917. This is surprising. 1917 is a movie about World War I, a war which looms less in the popular consciousness than World War II or the Vietnam War. 1917 doesn’t have the weight of a major franchise behind it, which means its impending triumph over Star Wars could be seen as demoralizing to fans of the franchise who want it to be successful.

What could this mean for ‘Star Wars?’

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in a famous Saturday Night Live skit | Dana Edelson/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

The Rise of Skywalker’s weekly box office gross has been cut in half each week it’s been in theaters. Forbes feels this is a bit of a cause for alarm. Supposedly, the film is the finale of the Skywalker saga, meaning no future Star Wars films will center around members of the Skywalker family.

If audiences aren’t particularly interested in a film with beloved Star Wars characters like Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, will they be interested in a film which only features characters from the sequel trilogy like Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron? Will audiences be interested in a Star Wars movie with no established characters at all?

To be clear, The Rise of Skywalker is still profitable. Fans of the franchise shouldn’t fear Star Wars becoming dormant, especially given the success of The Mandalorian. However, it’s earnings aren’t as stellar as they could be. Who knows how Disney will handle the galaxy far, far away now that The Rise of Skywalker is a bit of a financial disappointment.