Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the last big-budget tentpole of 2019, but how much did it cost to make? Disney’s already overseen the release of one massive pop culture finale this year in the form of Avengers: Endgame, which unsurprisingly was one of the most expensive films ever produced. Eight months later, the Mouse House is back at it to close the book on yet another iconic cinematic story: Star Wars’ Skywalker saga. After much anticipation, the final chapter in the narrative is finally here, hoping to send the year in film out on a high note.
Following Star Wars’ first box office flop in Solo, all eyes are on Rise of Skywalker to see if it can be a return to form for the franchise, commercially speaking. Unfortunately for Disney, the film is currently projected to have the lowest opening weekend in the sequel trilogy, but it should still make close to $200 million domestically during that debut. It goes without saying Disney is going to need all of the box office dollars they can find, as the latest Star Wars movie (likely) wasn’t cheap to make.
No reported Rise of Skywalker production budget figure is available yet, but looking at history, it’s possible to find a reasonable ballpark. The Force Awakens cost $245 million, while The Last Jedi was at $317 million. With that in mind, it isn’t out of the question to predict Rise of Skywalker cost between $250-300 million to produce. We’ll update this post with an official number once it’s revealed.
It isn’t news that a massive franchise blockbuster boasts a hefty price tag, but it’s nevertheless interesting to see how Star Wars budgets have evolved over time. Even when adjusted for inflation, the sequels are much more expensive than their predecessors. For instance, Revenge of the Sith’s $113 million production budget comes out to about $148.8 million in 2019, and Return of the Jedi’s $42.7 million budget is about $110.2 million in today’s money. Disney clearly has no qualms about forking over large sums of cash to complete their Star Wars films; spinoff Rogue One (which was something of a risk at the time) cost $200 million. To be fair, the Mouse House originally went with a smaller budget for Solo, but due to the extensive reshoots from director Ron Howard, that spinoff’s cost skyrocketed to $275 million, dooming the movie from being financially successful.
With that budget, anything less than $1 billion for The Rise of Skywalker will be considered a disappointment. The Force Awakens earned $2 billion, while Rogue One and The Last Jedi each crossed the $1 billion mark during their respective holiday season runs. Even with the lower box office estimates and less than stellar Rotten Tomatoes score, The Rise of Skywalker should be in good shape financially. Despite competition from Jumanji: The Next Level (which made box office history) and Cats this month, The Rise of Skywalker is still December’s premier movie event, and with the film already generating conversations, people will want to see it for themselves to form an opinion.