When Star Wars: The Force Awakens rebooted the Star Wars franchise in December 2015, it broke records like Darth Vader breaks windpipes with his evil mind: quickly, intensely, and strong with the power of the force. It brought in a historic sum of $247.9 million over the course of its opening weekend and earned a billion dollars faster than any other movie in the history of film, and it would go on to earn the distinction of best film debut ever based on that dizzying box office performance.
That's a lot to live up to — but the next installment in the Star Wars series, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is doing right by Lucasfilm and dominating its opening weekend, too.
Thanks to the $29 million it made on Thursday night showings alone, Rogue One — the prequel to the first Star Wars flick, A New Hope — has outdone every other 2016 film on that front, including Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was the blockbuster to beat with its $27.7 million Thursday opening sum.
It's well on its way to meeting its projected $143-$155 million before Monday morning rolls around, as it's resting on a comfortable $71 million between that whopper of a Thursday night and Friday night showings.
This is a huge IRL win for the Rebel Alliance — and for Lucasfilm – but not too much of a shocker given the feverish buildup leading to the film's release and the appearance of some familiar faces (or masks) in previous trailers. Either way, Rogue One fell in line with the Star Wars expectations both on-screen and at the box office, something that tried-and-true fans will surely be stoked about.