By JAKE COYLE AP FilmWriter
The Force was a little less strong with “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” But while J.J. Abrams’ Skywalker finale couldn’t match its recent predecessors on opening weekend, it still amassed a $175.5 million debut that ranked far, far away from all but a dozen films.
“The Rise of Skywalker” came in with worse reviews than any “Star Wars” movie except for 1999’s “The Phantom Menace,” which famously heralded the debut of Jar Jar Binks.
That response may have muted what could have been a record-setting weekend. Tom Hooper’s much ridiculed adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” scratched out just $6.5 million in ticket sales.