We’ve been hearing for quite some time from exhibitors and distribution sources that advance ticket sales are strong, but not overly robust for Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, meaning in the way that they were for 2015’s Force Awakens ($247.9M) and 2017’s Last Jedi ($220M). Hence, early AM estimates for the J.J. Abrams movie hitting tracking, when averaged are $205M given the comparative titles provided. No one is seeing $175M at this moment, but in the same breath a major tracking agency won’t provide their absolute prediction until 8AM. Atom Tickets had reported that the first day sales of Skywalker back on Oct. 21 were their second best ever, however, they’re a much younger ticket retailer than Fandango, and rep a small portion of overall presales next to AMC, Regal, Cinemark and other major outlets.
As is typical with tracking of late, if reviews are bad for Skywalker, and we hope note, then all projection gas here goes out the window. The world Hollywood premiere for Skywalker is on Dec. 16 and will be screening for critics and media around the same time.
Everyone is believing based on presales and the fact that this a threequel (in the Episode 7-9 sense of the word), that ticket sales will be lower. I will say this: If this pic comes out and reviews break that it’s course corrected the left turns that many fans griped about in Rian Johnson’s in Last Jedi, word will break out like wildfire and the sky is the limit when it comes to grosses. An expected holiday play period is in store. We haven’t seen, knock on wood, winter storms ruin the opening weekend of a Star Wars movie yet, even Episode 4 prequel Rogue One ($155M); just bad audience word of mouth spurred by the stigma of a prolific director divorce, and mean Solo ($84.4M).
Skywalker‘s first choice is under that of Avengers: Endgame ($357.1M opening record of all-time), Avengers: Infinity War ($257.7M), and not far from Force Awakens and Last Jedi and just above Jurassic World ($208.8m) and The Lion King ($191.8m) opening.