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It's easy to point out where Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker went wrong at the box office (and maybe elsewhere). It hasn't even come close to the previous two movies money-wise, and it's barely even hanging around as a Force Ghost when it comes to pop culture relevance. However! A minor win has been discovered.
While weekend box office tends to be what everyone talks about, it turns out The Rise of Skywalker has quietly been doing well on weeknights. Yes, while I sit at home grumbling at the TV as no one votes out Boston Rob on Survivor, others are heading out to see Star Wars: Episode IX.
Forbes brought this little victory to attention. The weekend numbers have been low from the start, with weekend-to-weekend drops worth wincing over. But on the domestic weekday front, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is surpassing many other blockbusters and held its own next to heavyweights like Avengers: Endgame, aka the highest-grossing movie of all time.
In one shared example, Captain America: Civil War opened to $179.1 million, higher than Rise of Skywalker's $177.3 million. But in the next four weekdays of its first week, Civil War made $44.2 million while Rise of Skywalker made $112.4 million.
It's surprising and yet it makes perfect sense. I, too, occasionally wait to see a major movie during the week instead of fighting for space on the weekend. Plus, if your movie opens during a holiday or vacation time (like Star Wars in December) you can take advantage of weekdays basically being weekends for families and many workers.
Forbes even shared a handy list of Monday-Thursday box office tallies for movies in their first week. These are all films that made over $175 million in their opening weekends. Here's how they did in the next four days:
• Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($142.9 million)
• Avengers: Endgame ($116.8 million)
• Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ($112.4 million)
• Black Panther ($90 million)
• Jurassic World ($87.4 million)
• Incredibles 2 ($86.7 million)
• The Lion King ($83.5 million)
• Avengers: Infinity War ($80.6 million)
• Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($76.6 million)
• The Avengers ($62.6 million)
• Avengers: Age of Ultron ($44.4 million)
• Captain America: Civil War ($44.2 million)
That might be the last time you see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker above The Last Jedi, never mind Infinity War, The Lion King, Black Panther, and company. All of those movies had bigger openings than Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and all of them have higher overall grosses. But Episode IX ranked #3 in Monday-Thursday box office for that first week, and subsequent weekdays have also been strong.
(The Force Awakens is no surprise at #1 since it's the #1 domestic movie of all time. Endgame currently has the worldwide record, but its domestic tally of $858.3 million didn't even really come close to The Force Awakens' $936.6 million.)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has "only" made $1,072,272,947 worldwide so far, not counting whatever it makes this weekend. But that includes $514.4 million at the domestic box office, which is more than -- say -- Captain America: Civil War's $408 million, even though that film's worldwide total is higher at $1,153,296,293. Rise of Skywalker's domestic total is also more than Age of Ultron's, even though that film's total is higher too.
Rise of Skywalker is actually #14 on the list of all-time domestic movies (not adjusting for inflation) -- ahead of Beauty and the Beast, Finding Dory, and even Frozen II. Rise of Skywalker is just behind Rogue One's $532 million North American total. Star Wars movies do tend to do very well on the domestic front, which is how Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended up waaaaay ahead of everything else.
Anyway, it's nice to see a minor win for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, since it's basically the Rebel underdog in the story these days. The Star Wars galaxy may be on hiatus for movies, but we've also heard some things about a new director possibly working on a new film (after his own cameo in Rise of Skywalker). And there's still what Kevin Feige has planned, plus maybe Taika Waititi -- and still also maybe still Rian Johnson? Rebellions were built on hope, and there's still hope for Star Wars' future at the multiplex.
Are you one of the Star Wars fans who watched Rise of Skywalker in the theater on a Monday-Thursday weekday?