Rise of Skywalker Wins Third Straight Weekend

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In Star Wars lore, it seems, the Empire (and all its offshoots) and the Republic (and all its offshoots) swap the galactic cat seat with disturbing regularity. That’s got to be a little frustrating for the ruling parties. Why, presidents and emperors barely order their office curtains before someone comes in, picks them up and throws them down an inexplicably placed shaft. Galactic rulers last about as long as an internet meme.

Seems like the Star Wars galaxy could take a cue or two from the Star Wars movies. They, at least, have staying power.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker earned its third straight box-office victory this weekend, scooping up an estimated $33.7 million. That pushes Skywalker’s total North American earnings to a very healthy $450.8 million. That makes it, according to my shaky math, 2019’s fourth highest-grossing film—pushing past Disney stablemates Captain Marvel and Frozen II for the honors. Lump in the $468 million the movie has earned overseas, and Skywalker’s worldwide grosses now stand at $918.8 million.

While Skywalker isn’t quite keeping pace with its most recent Star Wars predecessors, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, we can almost guarantee that it’ll be the seventh Disney film released in 2019 to earn more than $1 billion globally. Yowza.

But Skywalker had a wee bit more competition this week than the previous two, and it came from a film that’s been playing in theaters even longer. Jumanji: The Next Level spent its third straight weekend at No. 2, earning an estimated $26.5 million stateside. It lost less than a quarter of its audience when comparing this weekend to last. For the sake of comparison, Skywalker dropped more than 50%, weekend-over-weekend. If the same trend holds true next weekend, it’s possible Jumanji and Skywalker just might trade places.

Speaking of strong holdovers, Little Women moved from fourth place to third, collecting $13.6 million. Perhaps that’s a nice consolation prize after the flick went home empty handed from the Golden Globes last night.

The Grudge, the weekend’s only new release, mustered only a fourth-place finish (according to early estimates) with $11.3 million. That’s actually a bit more than some prognosticators were predicting, and it is now, by default, the highest-grossing movie to be released in 2020. Don’t expect that to last too long, though—not with awards-season hopefuls 1917 and Just Mercy on the horizon.

Frozen II continues to chill out in the box office’s top five, finishing behind The Grudge by $9,000, according to those early estimates. People have been known to spend more on cappuccino machines, so there’s a chance that when final figures are tallied later today, Frozen II could freeze The Grudge out of fourth place.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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