Star Wars movie The Rise Of Skywalker opened in theatres with US$374 million (S$506 million) in global ticket sales over the weekend as fans rushed to see the final chapter in the long-running film saga, distributor Walt Disney Co said on Sunday (Dec 22).
Roughly US$176 million of the total came from the United States and Canada, ranking as the 12th-biggest opening of all time in the world's largest film market.
The massive ticket sales show Star Wars remains one of the few Hollywood franchises that can draw big crowds to theatres. But the results fell short of recent Star Wars films. The 2015 movie The Force Awakens debuted with US$248 million in the US and Canada, and 2017's The Last Jedi had a US$220 million debut.
The US and Canada total also landed below early analyst projections of US$200 million (S$270 million), but ahead of Disney's more conservative forecast of US$160 million (S$216 million).
Directed by JJ Abrams, the new movie concludes a story begun by George Lucas in 1977 and centred around a young hero named Luke Skywalker. The latest episode, the ninth in the series, stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac as a trio taking up the fight against evil in the galaxy.
Critics have been divided on Rise Of Skywalker, with detractors saying the plot was convoluted and unimaginative.
But many fans have embraced the latest chapter. About 86 per cent of Rise Of Skywalker ticket buyers surveyed by website Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie positive reviews.