The first Star Wars spin-off film – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – opens in about a month, one year after the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. Episode VII broke a lot of records, but what can we expect Rogue One to do this year? Let’s talk about Rogue One‘s chances at the box office.
The Force Awakens opened to $247 million in its first weekend of release in the U.S., but we can’t expect Rogue One to get anywhere near that. Sure, this is another Star Wars film, but it isn’t an episode, and I’m still not sure whether or not general audiences know that Rogue One takes place before A New Hope, but after Revenge of the Sith.
Rogue One opens against Collateral Beauty (starring Will Smith) and The Space Between Us (starring Asa Butterfield), so the competition won’t be a problem at all. Rogue One will win its opening weekend. By how much, is the only question.
I don’t think Rogue One will get anywhere close to The Force Awakens ($247m). Sure, that’s mainly because this isn’t an episode, but also because no film other than The Force Awakens has opened to more than $85 million in December.
But Star Wars isn’t just any film series. Rogue One, I’m certain, will be the second film to open to more than $85 million in December. BoxOffice.com‘s current long range forecast predicts that it will open to $135 million. That would put it in the top 20 opening weekends of all-time.
That’s the same amount that Finding Dory opened to, and a little bit more than Suicide Squad and Deadpool opened too. I’ll probably adjust my prediction when the December 2016 version of my Box Office Predictions is released, but at this point in time I’m going to be more optimistic than BoxOffice.com. I’ll say $165 million, which would be right around the same amount that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened to. This is Star Wars after all.
– Jeffrey Rex