Last year, the return of the Star Wars franchise in the form of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was one of the most anticipated movies in years. That excitement drove the film to the top of the box office charts for 2016, generating just over $2 billion in ticket sales world wide.
But how will the franchise’s first spinoff film, December’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, fare with movie goers? While it does have the Star Wars name attached to it, the movie is the first film to take place away from the Skywalker saga. And that might be an impediment to it replicating the performance of last year’s film.
According to an early forecast at BoxOffice.com, it is looking as if Rogue One could sell $135 million dollars in tickets domestically its opening weekend against the Will Smith-starring drama Collateral Beauty and the science fiction drama The Space Between Us. The site credits the strength of the Star Wars brand and the fact that the film is set at a time just before the franchise’s Original Trilogy takes place as main drivers at the box office.
However, Rogue One‘s chances at winning the year are much slimmer, with BoxOffice.com estimating that the film will only take $404 million in total ticket sales domestically.
To put these numbers into context. Last year, The Force Awakens had a $247 million domestic opening weekend with a $936.6 million total gross. When all was said and done, The Force Awakens pulled in just over $2 billion at the box office. And if we extrapolate Rogue One‘s projected domestic numbers along the same arc that The Force Awakens took, then we get a total worldwide gross of nearly $895 million. And that is a very respectable haul, even with a film that has an estimated budget of somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million.
But is that enough to be the box office champ for the year? Not quite. Already this year both Captain America: Civil War and Finding Dory have broken the $1 billion barrier. But considering that allvthree films have been released by varoous divisions of Walt Disney, the Mouse House can’t be too upset.