The Star Wars franchise continues to under perform with moviegoers in China as director J.J. Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker opened to weak ticket sales in that part of the world. Episode IX was released in China the same time as here in the United States, but the conclusion to the story of the Skywalker saga failed to win over viewers.
The film earned a healthy opening weekend here in the US.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sputtered back to earth moments after making liftoff in the massive China market over the weekend, opening to a dismal $12 million including previews.
The Disney/Lucasfilm mega-tentpole, directed by J.J. Abrams, was knocked out cold by Donnie Yen’s martial arts epic Ip Man 4: The Finale, which brought in a healthy $46.7 million, according to box office tracker Artisan Gateway. It also was beaten by a holdover Chinese thriller, Sheep Without a Shepherd, which debuted back Dec. 13 but added $23 million in its second weekend.
Not including its lavish preview screenings Wednesday and Thursday of last week, Rise of Skywalker earned just $8.9 million from Friday to Sunday, which was less than yet another Chinese release. Feng Xiaogang’s romantic drama Only Cloud Knows grossed $9.4 million from Friday to Sunday, or $10.8 million including Thursday previews. Including its more aggressive preview rollout, Skywalker scores third for the weekend, but discounting sneaks it slips to fourth.