Star Wars movie The Rise Of Skywalker enjoys solid box office debut

By Ian Jones, PA

The Rise Of Skywalker has made a solid start at the UK and Ireland box office – though not quite as spectacular a debut as previous Star Wars films.

The final instalment of the long-running sci-fi saga took £20.9 million during its opening weekend.

This was easily enough to make it the number one film in the UK and Ireland at Christmas.

It is also the second highest box office opening for any film this year, after Avengers: Endgame which took a huge £43.4 million in April.

(PA Graphics)

But the figure is below the openings for the previous Star Wars sequels The Last Jedi (£28.0 million in 2017) and The Force Awakens (£34.0 million in 2015).

The Force Awakens went on to become the most successful film of all time in the UK and Ireland, taking a colossal £130.8 million.

The Last Jedi ended up taking £84.1 million.

Both these totals have been adjusted for inflation.

Whether The Rise Of Skywalker manages to match or overtake either of its predecessors will depend a lot on how well it performs over the festive holidays – particularly whether it is able to attract people back to cinemas for repeat viewings.

(PA Graphics)

It has already overtaken two other films in the Star Wars catalogue, however: 1983’s Return Of The Jedi, which took a total of £14.7 million, and 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story (£19.4 million).