Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker finally hit theaters last night, and it's already been met with extremely mixed reviews. Currently, the movie has the second-lowest critics rating of any live-action Star Wars film on Rotten Tomatoes with a 58%, but the moviegoers have been more forgiving, earning the film an 86% audience score. While the film is expected to have a successful box office run in the United States, it already had an upsetting opening in China. According to Variety, The Rise of Skywalker is “on course to be the weakest-performing installment of the new batch of Star Wars films.”
Variety reports that by 8 pm local time, The Rise of Skywalker had only earned $2.2 million at the box office, standing in fourth place behind three Chinese movies. The movies that came out on top on Friday were Donnie Yen’s Ip Man 4: The Finale (which earned $10.3 million), the crime thriller Sheep Without A Shepherd (which earned $4.57 million), and the New Zealand-set romance Only Cloud Knows (which earned $2.57 million).
According to the online ticketing agency, Maoyan, The Rise of Skywalker is on track to earn a measly $18 million during its run in China.
Back in January of 2016, Star Wars: The Force Awakens earned $52.3 million on its opening weekend in China and $126 million in the country overall. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story earned $30.6 million on its opening and $69.4 million overall, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi made $28.7 million on its opening weekend and $42.6 million overall.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars a returning Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. New cast members include Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, and Keri Russell, and the returning veteran actors are Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor. According to the director, J.J. Abrams, Leia is featured in the film using unreleased footage of Carrie Fisher from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now playing in theaters everywhere.