Critics of Star Wars: The Last Jedi believe that Rian Johnson’s film had irreparably damaged the franchise and killed a lot of interest in the final episode. Apparently, they were right: the latest box office projections for The Rise of Skywalker are in, and relatively speaking, they aren’t pretty: while initial estimates were as high as $225M (domestic), at least one tracking firm believes it could open to just $175M. Force Awakens and Last Jedi opened at $247M and $220M, respectively.

…“Rise of Skywalker” will arguably be the most scrutinized release of the year. This is Disney’s first theatrical “Star Wars” release since “Solo: A Star Wars Story” bombed at the box office with just $392.9 million grossed worldwide, the lowest total ever for the 42-year franchise even without inflation adjustment. The disappointing figures led Disney to recalibrate their plans for “Star Wars,” with the next few projects in the franchise being developed for the Disney+ streaming service while the next theatrical release won’t come until 2022.

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