Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will top the box office in its opening weekend, though it falls short of the heights of its predecessors. The Rise of Skywalker will open to $175 million in its first weekend at the box office. That's a big haul for any movie and the third-largest openign for a December film ever, but is still the smallest opening weekend for any of the films in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. By comparison, Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened to a record-setting $247.9 million. Star Wars: The Last Jedi opened with $220 million. The question of why The Rise of Skywalker saw such a precipitous dropped compared to its predecessors will likely be a Rorschach test for Star Wars fans. Those who disliked The Last Jedi will likely blame Rian Johnson's movie for killing enthusiasm for the franchise. Others will blame the negative reviews and buzz surrounding The Rise of Skywalker. Another possibility is that an inevitable sense of franchise fatigue is setting in.
In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the surviving members of the Resistance faces off with the First Order once again while Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron investigate a darker evil that has returned to the galaxy. Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams returns to direct the final film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The film stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, and Billy Dee Williams.
While critics have been down on The Rise of Skywalker, ComicBook.com's Patrick Cavanaugh gave it a 4 out of 5. "Missed opportunities for ambitious storylines aside, it's hard to deny the effectiveness of much of the film," he writes. "Whether it be Poe and Rey butting heads about the condition of the Millennium Falcon and Lando commenting on Chewbacca's height putting a smile on your face, Leia's attempts to instill wisdom on members of the Resistance igniting an emotional reaction due to the real-world loss of Fisher, or the conflict of following the path of who you want to be instead of being the person you're told you are evoking philosophical questions, The Rise of Skywalker offers audiences a worthy and, at times exceptional, conclusion to the end of a 40-year journey, though the various missed opportunities will surely stick with some audiences longer than the film's accomplishments."
Keep reading to see this weekend's box office top 10.
The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron's journey continues. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle commences.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is directed by J. J. Abrams. The film is the final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and the last chapter in the "Skywalker saga." The film stars Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong'o, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Ian McDiarmid, and Billy Dee Williams.
Friday: $7.1 million
Weekend: $26.12 million
Total: $101.93 million
When Spencer goes back into the fantastical world of Jumanji, pals Martha, Fridge and Bethany re-enter the game to bring him home. But the game is now broken -- and fighting back. Everything the friends know about Jumanji is about to change, as they soon discover there's more obstacles and more danger to overcome.
Jumanji: The Next Level is directed by Jake Kasdan from a screenplay written by Kasdan, Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg. The sequel stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Morgan Turner, Ser'Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Awkwafina, Danny Glover, and Danny DeVito.
Friday: $3.3 million
Weekend: $12.3 million
Total: $386.53 million
Elsa the Snow Queen and her sister Anna embark on an adventure far away from the kingdom of Arendelle. They are joined by friends, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven.
Frozen 2 is directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. The film features the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Ciarán Hinds, Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, and Jeremy Sisto.
A tribe of cats must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.
Cats is directed by Tom Hooper from a screenplay by Lee Hall and Hooper, based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical inspired by Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. The film's cast includes James Corden, Judi Dench, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, and Francesca Hayward.
Friday: $1.76 million
Weekend: $6.12 million
Total: $89.57 million
A detective and a trooper travel to a lush estate to interview the quirky relatives of a patriarch who died during his 85th birthday celebration.
Knives Out is written, produced, and directed by Rian Johnson. The film stars Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer.
A revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it.
Bombshell is directed by Jay Roach and is based on the real-life accounts of Megyn Kelly, Gretchen Carlson, and Kayla Pospisil. The film stars Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Malcolm McDowell, and Allison Janney.
Weekend: $2.56 million
Total: $9.54 million
During the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, security guard Richard Jewell discovers a suspicious backpack under a bench in Centennial Park. With little time to spare, he helps to evacuate the area until the incendiary device inside the bag explodes. Hailed as a hero who saved lives, Jewell's own life starts to unravel when the FBI names him the prime suspect in the bombing.
Richard Jewell is directed by Clint Eastwood from a screenplay by Billy Ray. It is inspired by the 1997 Vanity Fair article "American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell" by Marie Brenner and the book The Suspect by Ken Alexander and Kevin Salwen. The film stars Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, and Olivia Wilde.
Weekend: $1.85 million
Total: $36.59 million
Slim and Queen's first date takes an unexpected turn when a policeman pulls them over for a minor traffic violation. When the situation escalates, Slim takes the officer's gun and shoots him in self-defence. Now labelled cop killers in the media, Slim and Queen feel that they have no choice but to go on the run and evade the law. When a video of the incident goes viral, the unwitting outlaws soon become a symbol of trauma, terror, grief and pain for people all across the country.
Queen & Slim is directed by Melina Matsoukas from a screenplay written by Lena Waith. The film stars Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Chloë Sevigny, Flea, Bokeem Woodbine, and Indya Moore.
Hawthorne College is quieting down for the holidays. One by one, sorority girls on campus are being killed by a stalker. But the killer is about to discover that this generation's women aren't willing to become hapless victims as they fight back.
Black Christmas is directed by Sophia Takal, and written by Takal and April Wolfe, and is a remake of the A. Roy Moore's 1974 Canadian horror film of the same name. The film stars Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue, Brittany O'Grady, Caleb Eberhardt, and Cary Elwes.
American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and fearless British race car driver Ken Miles battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary vehicle for the Ford Motor Co. Together, they plan to compete against the race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.
Ford v Ferrari is directed by James Mangold and written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Jason Keller.The film stars Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, and Ray McKinnon.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.