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Sunday Update: Disney reports this morning that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now trending for a $175.5 million domestic debut, slightly down from Saturday’s optimistic projections but still on target with final pre-release forecasts. More updates to come.





Saturday Update: Disney’s conclusion to the latest generation of the Star Wars saga is off to a strong domestic start with studio confirmation that The Rise of Skywalker bowed to $90 million on opening day Friday, including Thursday night’s $40 million preview earnings. We’re now shortening our projection window to between $185 million and $195 million for opening weekend, remaining within the target of pre-release forecasts and well ahead of Disney’s $160 million expectation.





Rise‘s first day earnings mark the second highest opening day of 2019, trailing only Avengers: Endgame‘s $157.5 million eight months ago. This also represents the third highest single day take in December history, behind The Force Awakens‘ record (and, then, all-time record) $119.1 million and The Last Jedi‘s $104.7 million.





For further comparison, Skywalker bested Rogue One‘s $71.1 million first day by 27 percent and registered the sixth best opening day in history (regardless of month), just behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($91.1 million) and ahead of Avengers: Age of Ultron ($84.4 million).





For the weekend, a take around $185 million would represent the 10th highest of all-time (ahead of Incredibles 2‘s $182.7 million), while a finish on the higher end of expectations around $195 million would additionally best Age of Ultron ($191.3 million) and this year’s The Lion King remake ($191.8 million) for an eighth place all-time marker.





Again, though, comparisons of holiday releases to summer releases can be misleading. Among December releases, only Force Awakens ($248 million) and Last Jedi ($220 million) will have debuted to higher three-day weekends, and multipliers are typically much higher than they are during other times of year — even for mega-openers like the Star Wars franchise.





The next closest December weekend debuts are Rogue One ($155.1 million) and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($84.6 million).





Related Coverage: Weekend Forecast: What to Expect from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s Domestic Run





It’s worth noting that Skywalker pulled a slightly lower share of its Friday proper earnings than Last Jedi did. The former earned 55.6 percent of its first day gross after Thursday night previews, while the latter earned 57 percent. That’s a marginal difference, and could very well be made up for by what’s expected to be a stronger Sunday hold for Skywalker due to 100 percent of schools being out on Monday (as well as many adults/parents beginning their holiday vacation).





Encouragingly, the verified audience score on Rotten Tomatoes remains at 86 percent as of Saturday morning — indicating healthy initial word of mouth from audiences in opposition to the mixed reception from industry critics.





For more breakdowns on what this opening day figure could mean for opening weekend and long play scenarios, check out our previous weekend forecast here. Currently, the film is on pace to meet a trajectory in the middle of scenarios #3 and #4 from that report.





Disney hasn’t yet provided a global update for the film, though it is expected we’ll get a more comprehensive report on Sunday morning. Earlier this week, industry expectations had called for a global opening weekend between $350 million and $400 million.





Meanwhile, Jumanji: The Next Level added $7.1 million yesterday despite the new competition and loss of premium format screens. With $82.9 million in the domestic bank through eight days, the sequel will cross $100 million stateside this weekend. Sony projects a $24.85 million sophomore frame, but we’re expecting a higher result with the holiday corridor in full effect.





As for the remaining openers, Cats clawed its way to $2.62 million on opening day Friday, while Bombshell expanded into semi-wide release at 1,480 locations with an estimated $1.83 million yesterday. Weekend projections for both are in the chart below.




Early Weekend Estimates (Domestic)
FRI, DEC. 20 – SUN, DEC. 22


WIDE (1000+)



#
TITLE
WEEKEND
 
LOCATIONS
 
AVG.
TOTAL
WKS.
DIST.




1
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker
$190,000,000

4,406

$43,123
$190,000,000
1
Disney


2
Jumanji: The Next Level
$27,000,000
-54%
4,227
0
$6,388
$102,811,365
2
Sony Pictures


3
Frozen II
$12,600,000
-34%
3,665
-413
$3,438
$386,833,961
5
Disney


4
Cats
$8,000,000

3,380

$2,367
$8,000,000
1
Universal Pictures


5
Knives Out
$6,500,000
-29%
2,535
-878
$2,564
$89,948,909
4
Lionsgate


6
Bombshell
$5,500,000
1635%
1,480
1476
$3,716
$5,909,281
2
Lionsgate


7
Richard Jewell
$2,800,000
-40%
2,502
0
$1,119
$9,777,659
2
Warner Bros.


8
Queen & Slim
$2,000,000
-44%
1,078
-482
$1,855
$36,748,765
4
Universal Pictures


9
Ford v. Ferrari
$1,900,000
-53%
1,433
-1462
$1,326
$102,061,608
6
20th Century Fox


10
Black Christmas
$1,800,000
-58%
2,625
0
$686
$7,248,650
2
Universal Pictures


11
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
$1,500,000
-54%
1,524
-1331
$984
$52,695,051
5
Sony Pictures





LIMITED (100 — 999)



#
TITLE
WEEKEND
 
LOCATIONS
 
AVG.
TOTAL
WKS.
DIST.




1
Dark Waters
$300,000
-84%
451
-1659
$665
$10,055,609
5
Focus Features


2
A Hidden Life
$280,000
456%
106
101
$2,642
$352,143
2
Fox Searchlight


3
21 Bridges
$220,000
-81%
350
-1183
$629
$27,155,123
5
STX Entertainment


4
Jojo Rabbit
$200,000
-46%
230
-170
$870
$20,407,194
10
Fox Searchlight


5
Playing with Fire
$200,000
-70%
287
-1094
$697
$43,773,059
7
Paramount Pictures


6
Midway
$185,000
-79%
283
-1136
$654
$55,913,729
7
Lionsgate


7
Last Christmas
$160,000
-65%
274
-342
$584
$34,848,055
7
Universal Pictures


8
Joker
$155,000
-67%
201
-352
$771
$333,468,468
12
Warner Bros.


9
Harriet
$125,000
-71%
203
-437
$616
$42,236,530
8
Focus Features


10
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
$115,000
-31%
180
-165
$639
$112,924,674
10
Disney


11
Abominable
$95,000
27%
146
-13
$651
$60,567,660
13
Universal Pictures


12
Terminator: Dark Fate
$46,000
-65%
120
-130
$383
$62,196,065
8
Paramount





PLATFORM (1 — 99)



#
TITLE
WEEKEND
 
LOCATIONS
 
AVG.
TOTAL
WKS.
DIST.




1
Playmobil: The Movie
$80,000
-44%
66
-1392
$1,212
$1,143,213
3
STX Entertainment


2
Countdown
$36,000
-20%
42
-68
$857
$25,575,747
9
STX Entertainment


3
No Safe Spaces
$16,000
-85%
36
-129
$444
$1,131,185
9
Atlas Distribution


4
En Brazos de un Asesino
$8,000
-88%
24
-136
$333
$412,255
3
Lionsgate / Pantelion Films









Friday Update: Disney reports this morning that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker posted a strong $40 million debut from Thursday’s domestic shows beginning at 5pm. That gives it the fifth best preview start in history, topping Avengers: Infinity War‘s $39 million last year.





Related Coverage: Weekend Forecast: What to Expect from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s Domestic Run





For further perspective, this marks just an 11 percent decline from The Last Jedi‘s $45 million Thursday night start two years ago this month — an encouraging signal that many fans are returning to see how the saga closes out despite TLJ‘s divisive word of mouth and TROS‘ own mixed critical reviews. Disney notes that the latter’s verified audience score on Rotten Tomatoes sits at an encouraging 86 percent as of Friday morning.





Given the proximity to Christmas in five days, it remains to be seen exactly how the weekend and weeks ahead will play out from here, but this result does keep the upper-end of pre-release forecasts on the table for now.





For more breakdowns on what this preview figure could mean for opening weekend and long play scenarios, check out our previous weekend forecast here.





Internationally, Rise of Skywalker is open in 46 markets — including 33 openings on Thursday. The two-day overseas cume stands at $59.1 million.








Territories




GBO





 
 



UK




$8.3M






Germany




$7.2M






France




$5.3M






Australia




$4.3M






China




$3.6M






Mexico




$2.4M






Brazil




$2.2M






Italy




$2.1M






Sweden




$2.0M






Norway




$1.5M






Russia




$1.4M






Denmark




$1.3M






Other




$17.5M





 
 



Total




$59.1M








Meanwhile, domestically, Cats clawed its way to $550K from 2,500 last night, while Bombshell pulled $335K from an estimated 1,100 theaters.





More updates to come throughout the weekend…


The post Weekend Estimates & Analysis: <em>Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker</em> On Course for $170M+ Domestic Launch Ahead of Holiday Corridor appeared first on Boxoffice.





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