Ahead of Tonight’s Midnight Wide US Opening

Depending upon which entertainment shill media outlet you go to, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is either about to blow out expectations or is coming in as a dismal failure in media markets that matter now, i.e. not the North American market.

From the trades:

Disney is reporting $40 million in previews for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is still very good and the fifth-highest Thursday preview of all-time after April’s Avengers: Endgame ($60M), 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($57M) and 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi ($45M) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($43.5M).

Note on the great PostTrak exits last night: Realize that those were fans and they were predisposed to like the movie. Skywalker‘s preview cash also bests that of Avengers: Infinity War ($39M) and December 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ($29M). All in with $59M abroad, running global right now on the J.J. Abrams finale is $99M.

Hmm. The fifth highest opening is nothing to crow about. Particularly with the following news.

Global Opening is Weaker In China

The all-important Chinese media market is opening on The Rise of Skywalker in a soft way.

From the trades, yet again:

As of 5 p.m. local time, J.J. Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker had earned just $1.6 million for the day (RMB11.6 million), enough only for a distant fourth-place start, according to live estimates from ticketing service Maoyan. That figure rose to an estimated $2.4 million by the conclusion of evening shows, although Disney won’t officially release its estimate until Saturday.

Skywalker earned an additional $3.6 million in Wednesday and Thursday previews, according to Disney. That puts its three-day total at roughly $6 million.

Maoyan’s data-based forecast for Skywalker’s full run currently sits at a lackluster $17.8 million (RMB125.3 million). If the forecast holds true, Rise of Skywalker is in for an almost exponential China comedown from both Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi ($42.5 million in 2017) and Abrams’ own The Force Awakens ($124 million in 2015).

According to local markets, word of mouth is also soft about the end of the Star Wars saga.

What Are We To Make of All of This?

There is wild speculation that The Rise of Skywalker will come in at $140 to $175 million dollars domestically after the Christmas holiday, and who knows what in the international markets.

Those estimates might be wishful thinking at best in light of the marketing behemoth that is Disney.

But either way, this is looking to be a failure by Mouse House standards early in spite of high interest among casual audiences, but keep this in mind: Disney has made six of the top ten $1 billion dollar grossing blockbusters this year.