Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker powered up its light sabers in 46 material offshore markets through Thursday, grossing $59.1M at the international box office. That includes China where the force is, unsurprisingly, not strong with this final installment. Elsewhere, Episode IX has seen launches above Star Wars: The Last Jedi in most majors. With $40M in Thursday shows domestically, the movie is already at nearly $100M global in its first two days.
So far, all openings are No. 1 outside the UAE and China. The UK leads play at $8.3M through Thursday, followed by Germany with $7.2M, France at $5.3M and Australia at $4.3M. China, which had previews on Wednesday and Thursday, made $3.6M across those, and (not included in the total above) is now at about $6M through Friday, landing at No. 4 for the day behind some local titles including Ip Man 4: The Finale which ultimately stuck to its date, as well as Sheep Without A Shepherd and Feng Xiaogang’s Only Cloud Knows.
China is not key to this franchise with each of the previous films seeing diminishing returns there, yet handily crossing $1B worldwide (save Solo: A Star Wars Story). Still, Skywalker is destined to be the lowest opening of the recent series (again, save Solo which was a May bow). It has a 7.7 on Maoyan versus 7.9 for Last Jedi and 8.2 for The Force Awakens. The film will likely see an $11M-$13M China weekend which will be a slight drag on the overall international launch. The industry had penciled in about $20M for the Middle Kingdom, so projections of a $250M offshore start may now be a bit too high (The Last Jedi opened to $235M abroad in like-for-like markets and at today’s exchange rates). We’ll know more as the Friday numbers come in and we see how the weekend play factors.
Along with officially adding China today, Skywalker is also taking the fight to Spain, Japan, South Africa, Turkey and India. Later down the line are Vietnam, Korea and the Philippines in January.
Typically the biggest markets for a Star Wars movie overseas are a mix of the UK, France, Germany, Japan and Australia. Skywalker is following a similar pattern.
We’ll have more updates through the weekend.