The film, directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Felicity Jones, had the largest Thursday opening of the year, surpassing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($27.7 million) and Captain America: Civil War ($25 million). If projections hold true, then Saturday would add approximately $41 million more for a total weekend projection of $140-150 million.
Should Rogue One reach the higher end of that spectrum, it would rank among the top 15 of the largest opening weekends of all time. Furious 7 currently holds the 14th largest with $147.2 million, just behind Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 with $151.1 million.
Star Wars‘ return to the big screen with last year’s The Force Awakens broke records with $120.5 million over Thursday and Friday screenings for a weekend total of $238 million. Rogue One, though not a continuation of Rey and Finn’s story, is billed as the first standalone anthology tale, telling of Jyn Erso’s mission to steal the Death Star blueprints for the Rebel Alliance before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
Jones leads a cast that includes Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn, and Donnie Yen.