According to box office analysts, J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will easily earn more than Tom Hooper’s Cats, although it’s unclear how much.
Tracking services are suggesting $175 million to $200 million for Rise of Skywalker (Disney is being even more cautious in predicting $160 million-plus).
That would put it below the $220 debut of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi — which severely divided fans. It would also be far below a then-record $248 million debut for Abrams’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2016.
Disney hopes the nostalgia factor is riding high as the movie closes out the Skywalker saga that George Lucas first brought to the big screen 42 years ago. Abrams gathered together numerous stars from Force Awakens and Last Jedi — led by Daisy Ridley as Rey and Adam Driver as Kylo Ren — as well as actors from the first Star Wars pics, including Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams and the late Carrie Fisher.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s true fate will be revealed over the next two weeks, which signify the most lucrative moviegoing corridor of the year (the same is true for Cats and a flurry of other titles opening in the coming days). It remains to be seen whether a disappointing Rotten Tomatoes score of 57 percent dings Skywalker (only Star Wars — Episode I: Phantom Menace fared worse with 53 percent).