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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story promises to be a different kind of Star Wars movie. Jumping back in time to when the Rebellion was still battling the Empire, the self-contained opting for a grittier tone as the story focuses on some of the "regular" Rebels who fought on the frontlines. Nevertheless, it is still a Star Wars movie, which means it's practically guaranteed to make bank at the box office next month. In fact, current tracking suggests Rogue One could open upwards of $130 million in the United States.
According to THR, Rogue One is projected to bring in around $130 million domestically during its opening weekend, but that number isn't etched in stone. One service even stated it could come closer to $150 million, though another service guessed lower, placing the opening more around $120 million. In comparison, last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened to nearly $248 million. Keep in mind, though, that not only was The Force Awakens the first entry in a new trilogy, but it was also the first live action Star Wars movie since 2005's Revenge of the Sith. That level of hype would be extremely difficult to replicate not just for Rogue One, but for any of the Star Wars movies coming in the near future.
Even ignoring The Force Awakens' record-breaking performance last year, the fact that Rogue One could open around $130 million is still impressive. As the article noted, before The Force Awakens, no movie released in December ever surpassed $85 million in its opening weekend. Not even Avatar. It helps that Rogue One doesn't have much in the way of competition around that time. Some of the other movie's opening the same weekend include Collateral Beauty, The Founder and The Space Between Us, and while critically some or all of those movies may do well, commercially there's just no way they will come close to Rogue One. Hell, even with Assassin's Creed and Sing opening the following weekend, it'd be safe to assume that Rogue One will dominate the rest of December when it comes to hauling in cash.
Taking place shortly before A New Hope, Rogue One will follow a team of Rebels who are sent to steal the plans for the Empire's new battle station, the Death Star. While some casual moviegoers have been confused about how this movie fits into the Star Wars universe due to not being aware about Lucasfilm's Anthology plans, for the most part anticipation is high for its release. Walt Disney Co. chairman Bob Iger admitted in September that Rogue One probably won't make The Force Awakens numbers, but if this tracking is correct, then not only will the movie have a successful opening weekend, it will do quite well for itself over its entire theatrical run.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story blasts its way into theaters on December 16.