So much of the Hollywood production machine is centered around the marketing machine. Carefully creating, designing and timing the message for moviegoers to get to the cinemas. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has done that to perfection, as they begin to crunch the numbers and project potential earnings from the hotly anticipated follow up to Force Awakens. Well, not exactly a follow up, but you get my drift.
Certain tracking services for the stand alone feature argue that a domestic launch for the Disney and Lucasfilm title is approaching $150m. Only reinforcing the strength of their reboot and expansion of the beloved and iconic series.
To put the numbers into perspective, the December 16-18 weekend in North America alone is expected to hit $130m-plus. Good business if you can get it.
Christmas Eve Not Traditionally A Big Money Spinner
Known as the "pre-Christmas corridor" - this period is not regarded as an ideal time slot for studios to launch their pictures. Especially considering audiences are more focused on saving for presents and holidays, rather than spend on movies. Then Force Awakens blew that theory out of the park to go north of $85m, even out-muscling the behemoth that was Avatar.
Taking cues from Marvel and DC, Rogue One is said to be the first stand alone of its kind in the Star Wars universe. Branching off on a tangent that was intimated in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. That original flick intimated at a group of rebels who steal the plans to the Death Star, only to end up in the hands of Princess Leia.
Biggest Competition To Beat Is Themselves
The 2015 J.J. Abrams installment was a knockout at the cinemas. But in some part that was attributed to the nostalgia of the returning cast members like Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford. Although we only saw a glimpse right at the end, there was even Mark Hamill. Opening to a record-setting $248m domestically back in 2015, the bar that Disney will be aiming to beat is themselves.
Such is the dampening of expectations as far as records are concerned. Walt Disney Co. chairman Bob Iger virtually admitted that wasn't even achievable.
"Yes, the marketing material that we've had out has been extremely well received," said Iger. "We've not ever felt it would do the level that Force Awakens did, but we've been very, very encouraged that the level of interest in this is as high as it was for Force Awakens.”