Friday, May 24, 2024

“Star Wars” Declining Fortunes as “Skywalker” Nears Billion Dollars But Way Behind Last 2 Films


“Star Wars” is shrinking at the box office. “The Rise of Skywalker” is nearing $1 billion worldwide, but it’s way behind the previous installments.

“The Force Awakens” finished its theatrical run with $2 billion worldwide. That was an enormous hit.

But the next chapter, “The Last Jedi,” ended up with $1.3 billion, a significant fall off.

“Skywalker” shows “Star Wars” fatigue. It’s not quite at $1 billion, and it’s getting ready to say goodbye. Disney will keep it in movie theaters for a while but the big push is over.

In the US, “Skywalker” has earned just half of what “The  Force Awakens” raked in. Of course, maybe a lot of fans are waiting for the streaming and the DVD, with inevitable extras.

Now the studio is threatening us with a new “Star Wars” movie in 2022. Yes, just two years from now. We can only hope they will reconsider and wait longer. You can’t miss something that’s never gone.  It’s time to give “Star Wars” a rest until they have a great– I mean a GREAT — idea, not just more young people wandering around the universe with the inevitable cameos from the other movies. Let some nostalgia sink in first.

In other box office news, “Just Mercy” launched with $10 million. Considering that it’s had almost no marketing or press, that’s pretty exciting. The Michael B. Jordan-Jamie Foxx drama deserves a solid run. It should have been a Best Picture contender. Alas, now we can just hope people see it and learn about Bryan Stevenson.

For Warner’s “Just Mercy” is a last shot in a year of failures for adult-themed movies. They’ve pulled Clint Eastwood’s excellent “Richard Jewell” after 28 days and just $21 million. It’s their biggest screw up after a string of disasters. Only “Joker” stands out in their year. “Richard Jewell” should have been a hit, a contender, and a conversation starter. Eastwood, 89, also deserved better.

Kristen Stewart has a bomb in “Underwater,” DOA, her second in a row after “Charlie’s Angels.” It’s not a big deal. She’s not an action star. I guarantee you she will win an Oscar soon for a great drama or quirky indie movie. These were just bad movies anyway, they’re not her fault.

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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