“Star Wars Rise of Skywalker” picked up a cool $50 mil on Friday night. Add that to Thursday previews of $40 million, and the opening night will be recorded as $90 million.
The total for the weekend could be $190 million or higher, depending on word of mouth and the weather. Each looks pretty good, so $200 million seems possible.
LucasFilm and Disney can breathe sighs of relief. Reviews, bloggers in basements, and so on were stacked against them. Everyone wanted to kill this movie. For some reason, they expected JJ Abrams to give them some transcendent moment in which Carrie Fisher returns from the dead, Harrison Ford is de aged, and Tatouine opens a gay bar.
But “Rise” does what it’s supposed to: it wraps up 42 years, 11 movies, countless spin offs in different media. Palpatine comes back, who cares where he’s been? Chewie escapes death. Aren’t we glad? No, the bloggers wanted him to die, and have the cast seek revenge on his behalf? They also wanted Rey and Ren to marry and open that gay bar as Rey and Ren’s Truck Stop or something. No no no. Abrams did the right thing, and audiences are responding in kind.