Monday, April 15, 2024

“Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” Soars on Opening Night with $90 Mil as Audiences Discover Surprises, Plot Twists, Cameos


“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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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