UPDATED 12/18/16 (5:47PM): The force was a bit stronger than expected as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story racked in a massive $155 million opening weekend take. That marks the twelfth highest opening weekend opening of all time (unadjusted for inflation). While noticeably shy of The Force Awakens‘ record-blasting $247 million opening last year (a height that wasn’t expected this go around), Rogue One easily passed its first test with more riches to come as the holiday season approaches.
EARLIER: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story blasted into theaters this weekend and, unsurprisingly, the film is expected to be box office behemoth. Currently the Star Wars spin-off tale is projected to earn an estimated $140 million on its opening weekend. That would rank as the second highest December bow in history, behind only last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens which earned a record-grabbing $247 million in its opening frame. The Force Awakens numbers were largely considered out of reach for Rogue One, but the second title in Disney’s rebooted universe of Star Wars is still looking to reign supreme.
Rogue One collected an estimated $29 million in Thursday night previews – the highest of the year – and is expected to make $70 million in its opening day when all receipts are accounted for. Breaking it down further, if $140 million is the number that Rogue One hits, the film will grab the 17th highest grossing opening weekend in domestic box office history – unadjusted for inflation – and the third highest for 2016 (behind Captain America: Civil War and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). Freezing temperatures across the country may dampen the forecast slightly, however Rogue One will be given the benefit of the upcoming holiday season for maximum playability, meaning Rogue One has a chance to become the year’s highest grossing title when all is said and done.
The film is the second Star Wars universe title to come out following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilms and their ambitious effort to reboot the venerable space opera franchise. Rogue One is also the first Star Wars spin-off title to enter the fray, as in the film veers off course in a standalone entry centering around key events that unfold shortly before the narrative of A New Hope. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) directed the title which introduces several new members to Star Wars universe, held together by Jyn Erso (played by Oscar nominated actress Felicity Jones). Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed and Forest Whitaker also star.
The Star Wars universe will continue to expand – and likely dominate box office receipts – for years to come. Next December comes Episode VIII while the second spin-off entry – a currently untitled Han Solo prequel film – is set to arrive in theaters in May 2018.
We shall stay tuned to see how high Rogue One soars.