From now until the end of time, December will be known for a number of things: The excessive joy of Christmas, dark winter nights, the reflection of what went wrong (or right) throughout the year, and, last but not least — Star Wars.
This December saw the release of Rogue One, the first of the Star Wars anthology series, a film both distinct and very much intertwined with the wider universe. Considering it follows last December's record breaking The Force Awakens, the pressure was on Gareth Williams's deviation from the core narrative of the franchise.
Although events are within touching distance of the opening of A New Hope (1977), #RogueOne features an entirely new set of characters, tasked with the impossible mission of stealing the plans to the Death Star. With much less hype than its predecessor, the success of the movie was difficult to predict prior to its release.
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Rogue One's Impressive Box Office Opening
However, despite the entering unknown, Rogue One has had an impressive opening weekend. It has become the fourth biggest December opening at the international box office with $135.5m overseas, trailing closely behind #TheForceAwakens ($281m), Avatar ($164.5m) and The Hobbit ($158m).
Its opening total of $290.5m also stands proud amongst the top performers, beating the likes of Suicide Squad ($267m), Deadpool ($264.7m) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($250m). With positive reviews and fan reaction added in, the early signs are extremely promising.
Compare Rogue One to the rest of the #StarWars franchise, and #Disney's decision to pursue a spinoff spectacular looks all the more impressive. Its domestic box office opening of $155m makes it the second best opening weekend in the franchise, trailing behind The Force Awakens, but ahead of all of the prequels, as illustrated below:
- The Force Awakens ($247.97m)
- Rogue One ($155m)
- Revenge of the Sith ($108.44m)
- Attack of the Clones ($80.02m)
- The Phantom Menace ($64.82m)
Ranking so well amongst its peers is even more impressive when you consider J. J. Abrams resurrected the main saga after a decade long hiatus, and had the luxury of building on the legacy of the central story and much more promotion surrounding its release.
Can Rogue One Become One Of The Most Successful Star Wars Films?
These figures are deceiving, though. Throw inflation into the mix and the order shuffles around, which isn't surprising considering the average house cost at the time of A New Hope's release was under $50,000. To give Rogue One a figure to aspire to, the total domestic gross for the main saga, inflation included, is roughly as follows:
- A New Hope ($1.23bn)
- The Force Awakens ($930.87m)
- The Phantom Menace ($730.35m)
- Return of the Jedi ($697.27)
- The Empire Strikes Back ($679m)
- Revenge of the Sith ($510.78m)
- Attack of the Clones ($447.83)
With such a strong opening weekend, and the upcoming festive period, it wouldn't be surprising to see Rogue One add significantly to its domestic take of $155m and eventually break into the top three most lucrative Star Wars films of all time — an outstanding achievement for an obscure group of rebels.
Does Rogue One deserve to become one of the most successful Star Wars movies?
(Source: Box Office Mojo)