The box office numbers for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story are starting to roll in, and—surprise!—it’s good news for Disney and Lucasfilm. The first-ever Star Wars spinoff pulled in $29 million from Thursday night previews, surpassing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s $27.7 million to score the highest Thursday preview gross of the year. That’s also ahead of the $25 million that Captain America: Civil War pulled in back in May.
Fresh off positive reviews and high anticipation, the film is expected to score an opening weekend in the range of $135 million to $150 million, which would easily give Rogue One the second-best December opening of all time. The first, of course, is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was the first film to crack $100 million at the box office (and then some—it grossed a whopping $247.9 million opening weekend). Rogue One was never expected to reach those heights since it’s a very different kind of Star Wars story. There’s no Luke Skywalker and the film isn’t preoccupied with The Force. Instead, this prequel is a war movie of sorts, offering a boots-on-the-ground POV of the men and women who stole the Death Star plans.
But while Rogue One’s opening weekend could be anywhere between $135 million and $150 million, the film will also take advantage of the coming holidays. With families gathered and movies a mainstay of Christmas Day traditions, Rogue One could see its total soaring pretty high—assuming audiences take to it as kindly as they did The Force Awakens. This is a much darker film though, so it may not have the same four-quadrant appeal that J.J. Abrams’ film did.
You can bet we’ll be keeping a close eye on the box office over the next month, but check back this weekend as those opening weekend numbers start coming in. For now, peruse our recent Rogue One coverage in the links below.