When the first film in George Lucas’ now beloved sci-fi action/adventure series debuted in 1977, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope launched one of the biggest blockbuster franchises in history. Lucas followed up A New Hope with the remaining two entries in the original trilogy, then the prequel trilogy in the the early 2000s. Though it seemed Star Wars‘ big screen tale may be complete, Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 and set to work on reviving the franchise.
J.J. Abram’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens kicked off the next trilogy of films through new characters, as well as returning favorites from the original trilogy. The entry was massively successful, breaking a number of box office records throughout its theatrical run. Disney and Lucasfilm’s revived Star Wars franchise additionally includes three planned spinoff films — the first of which, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, hits theaters in less than a week.
According to Deadline, although Rogue One doesn’t necessarily have the Star Wars Saga ties as The Force Awakens, its opening weekend box office will be respectable. Deadline is projecting Rogue One to rake in $280-350 million at the global box office in its first five days. In comparison, The Force Awakens earned $325 million at the domestic box office alone in its first five days.
These numbers seem to be in line with previous box office projections for Rogue One, which expected the Star Wars spinoff to pull in $130 million domestically in its opening weekend. Additionally, Rogue One will have plenty of competition at the box office this season, with sci-fi drama Passengers, animated family comedy Sing, and video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed all hitting theaters in December.
Certainly, it’s unlikely Rogue One’s box office earnings will match The Force Awakens — and Disney CEO Bob Iger even said as much earlier this year: “We never felt it would do the level that Force Awakens did.” In the case of The Force Awakens, it was the first Star Wars film to hit theaters in a decade — with the last prequel trilogy installment, Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, debuting in 2005. Additionally, The Force Awakens built off the original trilogy, including beloved characters like Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).
Since Rogue One features a cast of largely unknown characters — though there are recognizable figures like Mon Mothra and Darth Vader — the standalone movie likely won’t break any of The Force Awakens‘ box office records. But, Rogue One is still a film set within the Star Wars universe. As such, fans of the franchise and casual moviegoers alike will turn out to see the movie, and Rogue One can be expected to be a box office hit.