There was never a doubt in anyone’s mind that last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens was going to be a monumental commercial hit when it was released, but this December’s Star Wars installment, Rogue One, was a different story. The film was the first in what Disney hopes will be a long line of spinoffs that take place outside the traditional Skywalker family saga and starred an ensemble of primarily new characters general audiences were unfamiliar with. Rogue One was self-proclaimed by the Mouse House to be an experiment of sorts, and expectations for the anthology were kept in check during the months leading up to its release.
Now that Rogue One is in theaters, it’s safe to say the experiment paid off. Following the movie’s positive critical reception, it earned $155 million in its first three days domestically (and $290 million worldwide). Now, as Rogue One closes out its first week at the box office, it keeps raking in the dollars and has crossed another key milestone that’s sure to make Disney executives happy for the holidays.
According to Deadline, Rogue One is now up to $419.8 million globally as of Thursday, December 22. The foreign total as of this writing stands at $197.9 million. Currently, the U.K. leads international markets with a $35.1 million haul, while Germany comes in second with $18.1 million. It’s worth mentioning that Rogue One has yet to open in China (where it will premiere on January 6, 2017), so these numbers should only go up in the next couple of weeks. China, of course, has become a key region for the film industry and is second only to the U.S. in terms of scale.
With more than $400 million accumulated in a week, it stands reason to believe that Rogue One remains on track to bring in $1 billion by the end of its run. The film is set for a massive second weekend, where it doesn’t face much in the way of competition. Several of the new high-profile releases, like Passengers and Assassin’s Creed, were panned by critics, which had a negative impact on their commercial prospects. Rogue One is the beneficiary of strong word-of-mouth and has excited many moviegoers, so it has a clear advantage. Since Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, its second weekend drop-off may be steeper than Star Wars 7 (Christmas Eve is traditionally a soft day), but it will still undoubtedly come out on top.
Of course, Disney has to be thrilled with these results, since there’s a possibility 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX is the final installment of the Skywalker saga. If Lucasfilm is to exclusively produce spinoffs and standalones, they needed Rogue One to start out strong, and that’s exactly what happened. The only question that remains is how high it can go, and it should be able to dominate the box office well into January since it’ll be the only acclaimed tentpole in town.