The cast of "The Rise of Skywalker" with director J.J. Abrams, producer Kathleen Kennedy and Stephen Colbert, April 12. Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Disney

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” pulled in an estimated $175.5 million in the U.S. and Canada over the weekend and received mixed fan and critic reactions, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Despite high expectations that "Skywalker" would debut with more than $200 million, the film's opening weekend was the lowest in the Walt Disney trilogy — 29% less than 2015's “The Force Awakens” and 20% below 2017's “The Last Jedi." After five Star Wars films in four years, this will be the franchise's last movie until 2022.

Go deeper: Disney breaks $10 billion box office record for 2019

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The hard seltzer wars are heating up

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Competition in the hard seltzer market is heating up in the closing weeks of summer, as big companies like Constellation Brands, AB InBev and Molson Coors have entered the market and Coca-Cola is poised to join the fray in 2021.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has increased alcohol sales overall and hard seltzers are exploding in popularity and look to have staying power, boasting record high sales in recent weeks.

Why you should be skeptical of Russia's coronavirus vaccine claims

Photo: Alexey Druzhini/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that his country has registered a coronavirus vaccine and said that one of his daughters has already been inoculated, AP reports.

Why it matters: Scientists around the world are skeptical about Russia's claims. There is no published scientific data to back up Putin's claims that Russia has a viable vaccine — or that it produces any sort of immunity without significant side effects.

A quandary for state unemployment agencies

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

State agencies charged with paying unemployment benefits to jobless residents have their backs against the wall as they rush to parse President Trump's executive actions on coronavirus aid.

Why it matters: States are being asked to pitch in $100 per unemployed resident, but it’s a heavy lift for cash-strapped states that are still unclear about the details and may not opt-in at all. It leaves the states and jobless residents in a state of limbo.