After just shy of a month of release, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has started leaving some theaters - over 1200 of them according to Forbes. According to the report, the exit of Rise of Skywalker form a not-insignificant number of theaters is a result of the film's generally lackluster performance at the box office as compared to other major blockbuster films. The film has also slipped into the No. 5 position at the box office behind Bad Boys for Life, Dolitte, 1917, and Jumanji: The Next Level.
As declines go, this wouldn't necessarily seem like a big deal for most movies, but a Star Wars film is far from a typical film. As the finale film in one of the most popular franchises of all time, one would expect Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to be performing a bit better - especially after a strong opening. The film raked in $175 million in its opening weekend, making it the 12th biggest domestic opening weekend ever. Since then, however, the film has seen sharp declines week-over-week at the box office. Last week, the film saw the worst fourth-weekend drop of any Star Wars movie to date. The result is less a steady decline as seen in films like Jumanji: The Next Level and more of a free-fall as the weeks in theater wear on.
That isn't to say that Rise of Skywalker hasn't been successful. The film recently crossed the billion dollar mark at the global box office, but the film isn't projected to come even remotely close to the massive $2 billion take of Avengers: Endgame, which itself was the end of a franchise chapter. The Rise of Skywalker hasn't been faring well critically, either. As of Saturday afternoon, the film has 469 certified reviews on Rotten Tomatoes which ultimately shake out to a 52 percent Rotten rating - the worst Rotten Tomatoes score of the entire franchise. The previous worst-of-franchise score went to the widely-panned Star Wars: The Phantom Menace with a 53 percent rating on the review-aggregating site.
As for what is behind the surprising box office decline of The Rise of Skywalker, there are a number of complicated factors, but it's quite likely that general divided nature of the Star Wars fandom played a part. While the film does have a strong 86 percent Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, there has been something of a mixed reaction to the film, with some feeling that the film disregarded the previous installment, Star Wars: The Last Jedi among other things. That divided reaction as well as critical reviews may have cut down on the number of repeated viewings of the film, thus impacting the ultimate box office bottom line.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now in theaters.
Are you surprised that The Rise of Skywalker has left a number of theaters just a month into its theatrical run? Let us know in the comments below.