'Skywalker' rises again; 'Little Women' go big at box office

The force remains with “Star Wars” at the box office.

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“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” brought in $72 million over the weekend to remain the top-earning film in North America by light-years, according to studio estimates Sunday.

In 10 days of release it has brought in $362.8 million for Disney, falling just short of the earnings of its predecessor, 2017's “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in a comparable span.

Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and Daisy Ridley in "Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker." ( J.J. Abrams)

Helped by the Christmas holiday week, “Star Wars” had a smaller-than-average 59 percent drop-off in its second weekend after earning $175 million in its first.

Sony's “Jumanji: The Next Level," earned $35.3 million for second place and has tallied a total of $175.5 million through its third weekend of release.

Still from Jumanji : The Next Level

Director Greta Gerwig's re-imagining of the American literary classic “Little Women" had a $16.5 million weekend and a five-day total of $29 million since its Christmas opening, a major performance for a smaller-audience film with a budget dwarfed by the top two films.

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The film, also a Sony release, starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and Laura Dern, scored big with both audiences and critics and is gaining momentum as an awards-season favorite.

“With Greta Gerwig’s reputation as a filmmaker, a great cast and a perfect holiday release date, they’ve got quite a hit on the their hands," said Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore.

As 2019 ends, annual overall box office revenue is down by 4 percent, though it gained ground in its latter months, narrowing a deficit that was 11 percent in April, and 2018 was always going to be tough to beat.

Between Marvel and “Star Wars,” and its animation divisions, 2019 was utterly owned by Disney, which had all five of the year's top grossing movies: “Avengers: Endgame,” “The Lion King,” “Toy Story 4,” “Captain Marvel” and “Frozen 2."

And with “The Rise of Skywalker” ending the year at No. 7 and “Aladdin” at No. 8, the mega-mouse ate up seven of the top 10 spots.

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included.

1. "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," $72 million, ($94.3 million international).

2. “Jumanji: The Next Level,” $35.3 million ($61.6 million international).

3. “Little Women," $16.5 million, ($6.3 million international).

4. “Frozen 2,” $16.5 million, ($42.2 million international).

5. “Spies in Disguise," $13.2 million, ($16 million international).

6. “Knives Out,” $9.7 million ($6 million international).

7. “Uncut Gems,” $9.6 million.

8. “Cats,” $4.83 million, ($13.6 million international).

9. “Bombshell,” $4.7 million, ($157,000 international).

10. “Richard Jewell,” $3 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.