Honestly, this seemed like a story we should have written two weeks ago. But yet, here we are, 28 days after the release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” and the Lucasfilm production has only now crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office. And while that should normally be a cause for celebration, I’d venture to guess that no one at Disney or Lucasfilm is drinking champagne today. (Well, outside of their daily champagne drinking because that’s how studio execs live, right?)
According to Variety, on its 28th day of release, ‘Rise of Skywalker’ has finally crossed the $1 billion mark. However, when you compare the pace to previous “Star Wars” films, as well as the rest of the $1 billion club, 28 days isn’t just slower than usual, it’s pretty alarming. (Note: if you want a more detailed breakdown of why $1 billion isn’t a great number for ‘Rise of Skywalker,’ I wrote a much longer piece about it last week.)
The most obvious comparison is with ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which was released around the same time of year in 2017. That film, even with its detractors, achieved $1 billion in only 19 days. However, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the first spin-off film in the Disney era, achieved the milestone on its 39th day. So, at least ‘Rise’ is doing better than that.
Compared to other recent $1 billion earners, ‘Rise’ is falling well behind some of the other films, including “Captain Marvel” (26 days), “Black Panther” (24 days), “The Fate of the Furious” (17 days), and, of course, “Avengers: Infinity War” (11 days) and “Avengers: Endgame” (5 days).
Obviously, it goes without saying that $1 billion makes “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” a success financially, but this is the final Skywalker Saga film we’re talking about. This was positioned to be the end of the current Sequel Trilogy, while also capping off the 9-film saga that George Lucas began decades ago. This is a film that might not have ever come close to ‘Endgame’ numbers, but surely should have done better than ‘The Last Jedi.’
Yet, it didn’t. And it’s barely going to beat “Joker.” So, this is why 28 days matters.