"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" is the worst-reviewed "Star Wars" movie on Rotten Tomatoes since "The Phantom Menace," with a 56% critic score. But the movie is pacing similarly in ticket presales as "The Last Jedi," which opened with $220 million. Shawn Robbins, the chief analyst for Boxoffice Pro, told Business Insider he's projecting "The Rise of Skywalker" to open in the $175 million to $215 million range. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" is facing some of the worst reviews in the franchise's history, but that likely won't stop it from opening huge at the box office this weekend. Ticket presales for the movie are pacing similarly to 2017's "The Last Jedi" at this point in its sales cycle on the online ticket service Fandango, the company said on Wednesday. Atom Tickets said that the movie is pacing close behind "The Last Jedi," which opened with $220 million domestically. Shawn Robbins, the chief analyst for Boxoffice Pro, told Business Insider he's projecting "The Rise of Skywalker" to open in the $175 million to $215 million range, which would be the lowest opening in the new "Star Wars" trilogy but still one of the highest domestic openings of the year. "The Last Jedi" had a 91% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, while "The Rise of Skywalker" has a "rotten" 56% score based on over 130 reviews. Business Insider's Jason Guerrasio wrote that "Rise of Skywalker" "tries so desperately to service the fan base that it loses sight of the story it's telling." The Atlantic's David Sims called it "convoluted and overstuffed." "The good news it that while this film may not be built to win over critics, the general sentiment pouring out from screenings is that it could be very audience-friendly," Robbins said. "After all, 'The Last Jedi' was strongly reviewed by critics, yet proved incredibly divisive among audiences." The big question is whether "The Rise of Skywalker" will have the legs throughout its theatrical run to carry it past the $1 billion mark, which every Disney-era "Star Wars" movie besides "Solo" has managed. "The Last Jedi," which polarized fans and has even drawn criticism from some involved in the movie (like the actor John Boyega), still ultimately grossed $1.3 billion globally. As the final film in the Skywalker Saga, "The Rise of Skywalker" will have to be extremely divisive to derail its box office.
Read more of Business Insider's coverage of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' is so busy making unnecessary references to the franchise it forgets to tell a good story 'Rise of Skywalker' is the worst-reviewed 'Star Wars' movie since 'Phantom Menace' All the 'Star Wars' movies, ranked from worst to best — including 'Rise of Skywalker' The new 'Star Wars' movie is getting savaged by critics, and already has a terrible Rotten Tomatoes rating — here's how the rating system works Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains why country music is universal
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