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Box office: The Rise of Skywalker slides to second place in fourth week with $15M
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has finally been bested at the North American box office by Sam Mendes' awards-season juggernaut 1917. The ninth and final episode in the 42-year-old Skywalker Saga, which had ruled domestic sales since debuting in late December, was knocked down to second place this weekend with an extra $15 million.
Now playing in its fourth week, the J.J. Abrams-directed space opera conclusion has raked in $478 million domestically. Globally, the movie has made $990 million and is expected to cross the $1 billion mark as early as next week. That said, TRoS is still trailing behind The Force Awakens ($812 million) and The Last Jedi ($572 million) in terms of ticket returns at the one-month milestone.
Disney (owner of Lucasfilm) is also hoping for a Return of the King-esque victory at this year's Academy Awards, putting the project up for top prizes like Best Picture. We'll know if The Rise of Skywalker has a fighting chance when the 2020 Oscar nominees are announced tomorrow morning. In all likelihood, it will nab a nomination or two in the technical and musical categories.
20th Century Fox's fathoms-deep horror flick, Underwater, tanked during its opening weekend with an "abyss-mal" $6.9 million from 2,791 North American venues. That's an especially ominous debut when you consider that the project cost the studio (also owned by the Mouse House) around $50 million to produce.
Directed by William Eubank (The Signal), Underwater follows a crew of researchers contending with an ancient aquatic beast at the bottom of the ocean. While the premise is certainly strong, critics have been pointing out that the release is derivative of similar films and doesn't add anything particularly new to the waterlogged horror subgenre.
It currently holds a 53% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Kristen Stewart leads the ensemble cast of T.J. Miller, Jessica Henwick, Vincent Cassel, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie, and Gunner Wright. Brian Duffield (The Babysitter) and Adam Cozad (The Legend of Tarzan) penned the screenplay.
“One of my earliest memories of feeling claustrophobic in a cinema was in one of the first Star Wars films when they’re in the trash compactor," Henwick told SYFY WIRE at the movie's Los Angeles premiere last week. "When I read the script, I thought, I really hope that we feel that feeling that I felt then.”
Now in its fifth frame, Sony's Jumanji: The Next Level pocketed another $14 million this weekend for a current domestic total of $257 million. Worldwide, the comedy sequel has scored over $632 million.