Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is on quite a roll, opening to a hefty $155 million domestic gross during its debut weekend, which is the second best December opening of all time (the first spot belongs to 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens). Rogue One is also expected to take the number one spot again this upcoming weekend despite the incoming wave of competition, like Illumination’s Sing, video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed, as well as Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence’s original science fiction film Passengers.
As if to solidify its projected second weekend box office win, Rogue One has now hit a new milestone by crossing the $200 million mark at the domestic box office in only its first week.
Per Deadline, Rogue One has now grossed a total of $221 million domestically, thanks to a projected Thursday gross of $16.5 million. With the upcoming holiday weekend, the film is also expected to go right on past the $300 million domestic milestone during the four day weekend, and inch ever closer toward a gross of $500 million worldwide on a production budget of around $200 million.
While it’s not altogether surprising that a film bearing the Star Wars name is a significant hit with fans, Disney is more than likely relieved at just how popular Rogue One is proving to be. It certainly brightens the prospects of other Star Wars spinoffs currently in the works, and more than likely gives Disney yet another successful live-action franchise (alongside the extremely popular Marvel Cinematic Universe) that won’t necessarily have to rely on the Skywalker saga in the future.
This is great news for fans who have been eagerly anticipating future Star Wars films not necessarily associated with the main storylines (Rogue One and other upcoming spinoffs still loosely inform the main canon). And with Rogue One being more akin to a war movie than traditional fantasy Star Wars films, perhaps Disney will eventually try its hand at different genres or time periods within the universe.
Naturally, there will be a select group of fans who are skeptical at an increase in Star Wars related films as some feel that it could cheapen the quality and draw of the franchise long term. While this is certainly a valid concern, looking at the critical, fan and financial success of the MCU, most are certainly not concerned about Star Wars’ future in the hands of Disney. If Rogue One and its enormous success thus far are any sort of indicator, the company won’t be giving up on Star Wars anytime soon.