Rogue One: A Star Wars Story followed in the footsteps of its box office-breaking predecessors with a $29 million Thursday opener.
Rogue One is on track to be another big Star Wars success for Disney.
Disney’s first standalone Star Wars movie pulled the biggest Thursday preview box office haul of 2016. Rogue One made $29 million on December 15th, which puts it ahead of 2016’s two biggest Thursday box office draws, Batman v. Superman and Captain America: Civil War.
According to Business Insider, Rogue One is predicted to earn between $135 million and $150 million over the course of opening weekend. That number would put it third in terms of the biggest opening weekends at the box office in 2016 behind Batman v. Superman and Civil War.
Last year, The Force Awakens brought in $57 million on its Thursday preview night at the box office. The film also set a record for the biggest domestic opening weekend haul with $247.9 million. When The Force Awakens finally bowed out of theaters in 2016, it did so with a whopping $2 billion earned worldwide.
The box office has never been an enemy of Star Wars movies (unless you count the animated Clone Wars movie, which was a box office bust domestically after its first weekend). People always have and always will go see Star Wars. Even the prequels that so many people claim to hate brought in millions of dollars when they first premiered in theaters.
But Rogue One‘s box office success is important to highlight. The film is the first of its kind – a live-action, standalone Star Wars blockbuster. It must succeed, numbers-wise, in order to convince Disney that more standalone Star Wars movies are worth investing in.
Thankfully, I don’t think Rogue One is having any trouble on that score.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story shows in theaters across the U.S. today.