When Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed a little over $2 billion worldwide after its late December release, a lot of pressure was put on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to perform well at the box office and keep the momentum going toward the 2017 release of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII. And while Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a spinoff – alleviating a lot of the pressure on the film to produce Star Wars: The Force Awakens-type money – how well the film performs will more than likely decide the fate of other spinoffs still gestating.
The numbers so far are very promising, as Rogue One: A Star Wars Story grossed nearly $30 million on its Thursday night showing. While that’s 47 percent less than Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it’s still extremely impressive for a spinoff film with limited well known characters from the Star Wars universe. With the release of the Thursday numbers, Disney has released its final projections regarding Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and its projected opening weekend box office numbers.
Via Comic Book, Disney is predicting that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will pull in anywhere between $135-$140 million domestically during its opening weekend. Factoring in its Thursday numbers, and the film is expected to gross around $70 million on its opening day alone. If these numbers are anywhere close to accurate (especially if the film ends up closer to or beyond the $140 million number), it would put Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at number 17 on all-time opening weekends.
To give these numbers a little context, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey currently holds second place for December openings with around $84 million. If Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens even at the lower side of Disney’s projections, it will still nab the second place slot by quite a margin. This would more than continue what is already a record year for Disney at the box office.
Fans are obviously responding quite well to Disney’s relentless marketing campaign for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and its promise to fill in the gaps between the Star Wars prequels and Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and show how the rebellion stole Death Star plans from the evil Galactic Empire. With director Gareth Edwards teasing a film that both embraces and breaks Star Wars storytelling tradition, it probably went a long way in drawing in more casual fans expecting a different type of experience.
Naturally, some fans will see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as an attempt to be different merely for the sake of being different, while others will certainly view it as nothing more than a time filler until next year’s Star Wars: Episode VIII. Either way, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is off to a stellar start at the box office, and should do nothing but build excitement that much more for the release of Johnson’s next Star Wars installment – and maybe build a legacy all its own.
Source: Comic Book