IF INDUSTRY skeptics ever doubted Disney’s vision for stand-alone Star Wars films, then commercial comeuppance arrived over the weekend.
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the franchise’s first non-episodic film, grossed $155 million in its domestic debut, according to studio estimates Sunday — well on the high end of projections.
That total represents the second-biggest launch of the year, topped only by the $179.2 million opening for Disney/Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War.”
Just as important for the bottom line, “Rogue One” scored with overseas audiences, as well, while opening in most major foreign markets except China. The film has grossed $290.5 million worldwide, already landing it among the top 30 films of the year.
One slot behind “Rogue” on that list is Disney’s “Moana” ($280.3 million worldwide), which finished second over the weekend with an $11.7 million domestic take. “Moana” won the three previous weekends.
Buoyed also by “Doctor Strange,” Disney has won six of the past seven weekends in North American theaters.
The entire Star Wars cinematic franchise, counting re-issues and special editions, has now grossed more than $6 billion domestically, when adjusting for inflation.
“Star Wars: Episode VIII” is due out in December 2017, and the second anthology stand-alone film, centering on young Han Solo, is due out the summer after that.