Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opened in first place with an estimated $175.5 million at $4,406 domestic theaters, an average of $39,832 per location. It is the third-biggest opening for the month of December in North America and trails only the debuts of Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247.9 million) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($220 million). The film received a B+ CinemaScore from audiences.
Internationally, the final film in the Skywalker saga has brought in $198 million from 52 markets since starting its overseas rollout on December 18. That puts the worldwide total at $373.5 million. The top international markets so far are the UK ($26.8 million), Germany ($21.8 million), France ($15.2 million), Japan ($14.6 million), Australia ($12.6 million), and China ($12.1 million).
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker earned $35.5 million from 1,455 IMAX screens in 73 markets. It’s the third-highest IMAX global opening in December and the sixth-highest global opening ever for IMAX. In North America, the IMAX gross was $18.4 million, also the third-highest IMAX Domestic opening in December. International’s $17.1 million is the second-highest overseas IMAX opening ever in December.
Opening in 2015, The Force Awakens ended up with $936.6 million domestically and $1.132 billion internationally, for a worldwide total of $2.068 billion. 2017’s The Last Jedi grossed $620.2 million in North America and $712.4 million overseas, for a global total of $1.333 billion.
Directed by J.J. Abrams, The Rise of Skywalker stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, and Billy Dee Williams.
Dropping a spot to second was Sony Pictures sequel Jumanji: The Next Level, which added $26.1 million its second weekend and has earned $101.9 million domestically. Internationally, the film grossed $32.6 million from 52 markets and has reached $210 million, for a worldwide sum of $312 million. The previous 2017 film, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, earned $404.5 million domestically and $557.6 million internationally, for a global take of $962.1 million.
Directed by Jake Kasdan, The Next Level stars Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Awkwafina, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, with Danny Glover and Danny DeVito.
In third place, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Frozen II continued to perform well with another $12.3 million this weekend, bringing its five-week domestic total to $386.5 million. The sequel added $31.6 million internationally and is now up to $717.2 million overseas, for a global total of $1.104 billion. The first film opened in 2013 and went on to gross $400 million domestically, $873.5 million internationally, and $1.274 billion worldwide. Directed by Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, the sequel is voiced by Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Sterling K. Brown, Alfred Molina, Evan Rachel Wood, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, Jeremy Sisto, Ciarán Hinds, and Alan Tudyk.
Moviegoers showed no interest in Universal Pictures’ Cats adaptation, as the musical opened in fourth place with a dismal $6.5 million from 3,380 theaters, an average of only $1,923 per theater. The audiences that did see it gave the movie a terrible C+ CinemaScore. Internationally, the Tom Hooper-directed film earned $6.5 million in the UK and Ireland. With such a bad debut, there’s even word that theaters will be receiving an updated version of the film with improved visual effects starting today. Based on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage musical, Cats stars James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and Francesca Hayward.
Writer/director Rian Johnson’s whodunnit Knives Out (Lionsgate and MRC) rounded out the top five with $6.1 million and has earned $89.6 million domestically after four weeks. Internationally, the film has generated $96 million and it is up to $185.6 million worldwide. Knives Out stars Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jeaden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.
And Lionsgate also took sixth place with Bombshell, which expanded into 1,480 theaters and earned $5.1 million, for a two-week domestic total of $5.5 million. Directed by Jay Roach, the film stars Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, John Lithgow as Roger Ailes, Margot Robbie as Kayla Pospisil, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton as Beth Ailes, Mark Duplass as Douglas Brunt, Rob Delaney, Malcolm McDowell as Rupert Murdoch, and Allison Janney as Susan Estrich.