‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ tops $1 billion at the global box office

Business

Rey and Kylo Ren face off in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

Disney

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” has joined the billion-dollar club.

On Tuesday, the ninth installment in the Skywalker Saga surpassed $1 billion at the global box office. It has made $481.3 million domestically and $519.7 million internationally since its Dec. 20 release.

“The Rise of Skywalker” is Disney’s seventh 2019 release to surpass this box office benchmark. No other media company has come close to this kind of record before.

The previous record, which was four billion-dollar movies in one year, was also held by Disney. In 2016, “Zootopia,” “Finding Dory,” “Captain America: Civil War” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” all crossed that benchmark.

In 2019, “Captain Marvel,” “Aladdin,” “The Lion King,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Frozen II” and “Toy Story 4” were the other films released by Disney that surpassed $1 billion. Notably, “Endgame” became the highest grossing film of all time last year, garnering $2.798 billion worldwide during its run.

In total, Disney garnered $11.1 billion in global movie ticket sales in 2019, another record in the industry for a single studio. With the addition of 21st Century Fox titles, which the company acquired in April, Disney hauled in more than $13.1 billion. Neither of these figures include what Disney has made in January, which pushed “The Rise of Skywalker” over the billion-dollar mark.

“‘Skywalker’ will be lucky number seven for Disney and at this point hitting a billion dollars should silence all the naysayers who felt it underperformed upon its release about a month ago,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “The seeds of success that the studio planted in their amazing year of 2019 continue to bear fruit in 2020 with yet another box office milestone achieved within the Star Wars canon of films.”

“The Rise of Skywalker” divided audiences after its Dec. 20 release. For some, the film was the perfect ending to the nine-film Skywalker Saga. For others, it was slapdash and relied too heavily on moments of fan service.

Disney’s Lucasfilm isn’t expected to release another film in theaters for three years. So, the company has some time to determine what worked best in its most recent trilogy and what should be avoided going forward.

One thing is clear, however, the future of “Star Wars” is bright. The Disney+ show “The Mandalorian” is proof. The eight-episode first season was a critical success and has become beloved by fans.

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