One must never put too much stock in CinemaScores, which bills itself as “the industry leader in measuring movie appeal,” providing “unbiased measurement of audience response that helps gauge movie appeal and success by polling movie audiences on opening night.” That’s all it is; the reactions of some people who attended a movie on its opening night. As such, the voters are the most feverish fans for any given property, and thus more predisposed to like whatever movie it is than any other audience. So they tend to skew high.

So it is eye-opening to see that Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker got a B+ CinemaScore — and that its B+ is the lowest CinemaScore in the history of the live-action Star Wars saga according to their website. No other live-action Star Wars — not Attack of the Clones, not Solo, nothing! — got less than a B-. Here are all the scores to date:

  • The Phantom Menace: A-
  • Attack of the Clones: A-
  • Revenge of the Sith: A-
  • The Force Awakens: A
  • Rogue One: A
  • The Last Jedi: A
  • Solo: A-
  • The Rise of Skywalker: B+

The only worse Star Wars CinemaScore belongs to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the 2008 animated feature that was essentially a high-end pilot for the television series of the same name. That film got a B- CinemaScore, which is really bad. (For point of comparison, Cats got a barely worse C+.)

Again, CinemaScores don’t mean everything. But the fact that The Rise of Skywalker, which is intended to cap 40 years of Star Wars movies and send off the franchise’s original storyline with an epic bang, got the worst score from audiences of any of these movies, is not a good sign. It’s particularly bad for word of mouth, and after the movie opened to a slightly disappointing $175.5 million. It all adds up to yet another reason why Star Wars might be taking an extended breather from movie theaters after this.

Gallery — Movies With Baffling CinemaScores:

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