The latest "Star Wars" film still wouldn't level up to the previous modern-day titles in the trilogy, though.
During one of the last weekends of 2019, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, has been predicted to beat out the disturbing film-adaptation of the famous Cats musical at the box office by a landslide. While Cats is projected to rake in a measly $14-17 million in U.S. ticket sales on its opening weekend, compared to its reported $95 million budget, Rise of Skywalker is anticipated to hit anywhere between the $175 and $200 million mark. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Cats definitely took a huge risk by becoming the "first event pic" that dared to open the same weekend as one of the modern Star Wars films. The numbers, however, will only become official when the year-end U.S. box office wraps up this upcoming weekend.
Despite the success that this third film in the latest instalment of the Star Wars franchise is expected to achieve, Rise of Skywalker would still not "rise" above its predecessors: 2017's The Last Jedi brought in a whopping $220 million in its opening run, while 2015's The Force Awakens had an at-the-time record-breaking debut of $248 million. The latest film's inability to pale in comparison to the trilogy's forerunners is not just evident in ticket sales: The Rise of Skywalker has a current rating of only 58% on Rotten Tomatoes, a major blow for a film attached to such a highly-acclaimed and beloved franchise. This rating makes Skywalker the second lowest ranking film on the movie-evaluating website out of the nine main films in the Star Wars franchise. The only Star Wars film with a lower score is 1999's Episode I: The Phantom Menace at 53%. Well, at least, along with projected box office sales, Skywalker also has a higher Rotten Tomatoes rating than Cats, which is sitting at a harsh 18%. Yikes.