BOX OFFICE: “Skywalker” opens at $176, a LOT lower than the last two films

As expected, another “Star Wars” is “the #1 film in the galaxy”--$176M domestic, $198M international, $374M globally.

“Force Awakens” opened at ($247M), 30% higher.

“The Last Jedi” did ($220M), over 20% better.

Consider premium pricing for tickets this time round and the falloff is even steeper. It’ll still make a mint, but franchise fatigue is obviously setting in.

As of Friday afternoon, “The Rise of Skywalker” was on track to clear $190, maybe close in on $200 million. Nope. HUGE falloff Sat. and Sunday.

I have said, over the course of three reviews, that this series is checkbox and checkbook filmmaking, diverse but without enough care paid to charactersand the actors playing them.

Casting was an issue in the entire trilogy, actors failing to grow into their roles. Hamill is a beloved figure in fandom, but asking him to be the new Obi Wan was a Jedi Too Far. Boyega, Driver and Ridley — all less interesting than they needed to be.

Adam Driver’s best moment, which underscores how unsuitable he was in the part, came in the third film, “The Rise of Skywalker,” a little dollop of what this modern, urban American character actor does best — humor. Kylo makes a leap, lands hard and Driver says “Ow.” He’s out of place, a tormented and sensitive villain who inspired laughter with some of his tortured grimaces, and that’s on J.J. Abrams.

Derivative action sequences, recycled story beats, limp dialogue.

A little of the Boyega/Isaac banter paid of here, but “The Rise of Skywalker” is the weakest of the lot.

This is a huge box office take. The fact that it is well below the earlier films in the trilogy suggests the audience is kind of over it.

Three “Star Wars” movies, each a“glib facsimile”of the original trilogy.

I was arguing with a younger reviewer re box office expectations for “Cats.” Dated, a “very old and almost forgotten brand,” I said. Oh no, says he. His generation will show up to hear Tay Tay Swift, and see her in skin tight cat fur. Nope. $6.5 million. Reviews didn’t help. Savaged by most.

“Bombshell” cleared $5 million, “Jumanji” managed $26 on its second weekend, a pretty steep drop off week to week — 56%.

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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