Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is poised to cross $1 billion worldwide soon, but its gross still trails that of The Last Jedi. While it remains a strong accomplishment, earning $1 billion globally is far more common these days that it was just a decade ago. At the turn of the 2010s, only seven movies in history made that much, and now - with Frozen II recently reaching that mark - the number has risen all the way up to 45. At this point, if a major studio tentpole doesn’t hit $1 billion during its run, it’s considered a disappointment. Fortunately for Disney, they seem to have no problem selling that many tickets.

The Mouse House’s renaissance of the Star Wars franchise certainly contributed to the sizable uptick in $1 billion films. To date, three of them have grossed that much, with 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story the lone outlier. Though The Rise of Skywalker posted the lowest opening weekend of the sequel trilogy, it’s still found a great deal of commercial success, being the #1 movie in the world for the past two weeks. Many expected The Rise of Skywalker to be another $1 billion earner for Disney, and it’s well on its way to doing just that.

Per The Wrap, The Rise of Skywalker is expected to surpass $900 million worldwide this weekend, meaning it’s only a matter of time before it hits $1 billion. However, The Rise of Skywalker is more than likely going to finish with a total below The Last Jedi’s $1.3 billion, so the trilogy finale’s box office performance is something of a mixed bag.

When looking at just the hard numbers, The Rise of Skywalker is by no means a failure. It’s already turned a profit less than three weeks into its run, and it should have a fairly fruitful January before bowing out of theaters. Still, it’s difficult to not be a little disappointed by Rise of Skywalker’s haul. In the previous Skywalker saga trilogies, the third installment outgrossed the second (but made less than the first), and that isn’t going to happen with the sequels. Disney will be pleased by The Rise of Skywalker reaching $1 billion, but they might have been expecting something a little more from what was billed as the holiday season’s premier cinematic event. That Rise of Skywalker couldn’t make $200 million domestically in its debut speaks to how the property’s lost some of its luster over the past few years.

With that in mind, now seems like the perfect time for Disney’s self-imposed Star Wars movie hiatus, as the next film set in the galaxy far, far away won’t be out until December 2022. During this time, fans will still have plenty of content to check out (with the Disney+ series the primary focus), but Lucasfilm needs to do a little regrouping on the movie side of things and figure out what they want to do next. Hopefully, time off will do the Star Wars movies some good, and whatever comes next following The Rise of Skywalker gives audiences reason to be excited and come to the theater in droves.

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Source: The Wrap