– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Coming into this weekend, we all knew that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was going to have one of the biggest December openings ever, but the proof is now in the pudding as the totals for the film’s Thursday previews are in and they’re phenomenal. 

Rogue One, the first in a line of Star Wars Story movies- which will venture beyond the Episodic Skywalker Saga– raked in $29 million last night, for the biggest Thursday preview of the year. And 2016 has been a big year for blockbuster tentpoles. That figure knocks Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($27.7M) off of the top spot, and also pushes Captain America: Civil War ($25M) down into third place.

The film is projected to pull in somewhere between $135M and $150M when all is said and done this weekend. 

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will end up with a December weekend that is second, all-time, only to its own older brother, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That Star Wars flick pulled in $57 million in previews and $248 million domestically when it came out last year in this same frame. 

The film represents a bit of a gamble for Lucasfilm, as it’s the first live-action film in the Star Wars franchise that isn’t directly connected to the other Episodes. Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy has said that they’d be keeping a close eye on Rogue One‘s performance this month, as she and the other studio execs will be meeting in January to decide what direction they’re going to take the franchise in. 

So far, it’s looking like the gamble has paid off.

Should be interesting to see how those January meetings go…

SOURCE: Box Office Mojo

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.