The latest installment in the Star Wars saga raked in over $290m (around £232m) in its first weekend of global showings, as Disney’s $4bn investment in the series continues to pay dividends.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story made $71m on its first day in the US – the 12th best opening day of all time – to push it to an opening weekend of $155m, according to the Hollywood Reporter, despite heavy snow in much of North America.
The strong opening puts its on track to become one of the top-grossing films released this year, as it is set to dominate during the Christmas holiday season. The highest grossing film of 2016 so far, Captain America: Civil War, has made $1.153bn so far, according to Box Office Mojo.
Rogue One is the first Star Wars film not directly linked to the six films released so far. It is directed by Gareth Edwards, who was previously behind 2010 indie hit Monsters and 2014’s Godzilla reboot.
The spin-off film is set in the same universe as all other Star Wars films, with a plot involving theft of plans for the Death Star, an integral part of the original trilogy.
Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm from founder and Star Wars creator George Lucas made the science fiction brand one of the most valuable entertainment properties of all time.
The movie giant has planned two more instalments of its main episodic story line, released at two-year intervals, with spin-offs released every other year.
Last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens became the second-highest grossing film of all time, with international box office takings of $2.068bn. It cost $245m to produce compared to Rogue One’s $200m budget.