Rogue One has broken the $800 million milestone in box office collections. Roughly $400 million of the 800 is from the international markets. This is not including the figures from China yet, because the movie is set to release there only by 6th of this month. It should also be noted though that Chinese audience are not particularly fond of the Star Wars franchise. Even The Force Awakens ended up making only $125 million there. However, in other countries, Rogue One has left even a lot of local productions behind. For instance, in the UK, Rogue One overtook the much anticipated and publicized Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in virtually no time at all. This is the story of what is maybe the best performing Star Wars movie yet.
It is true that the Star Wars movies have always had a strong appeal among their loyal fans, and a crowd-pulling ability among the masses. But, the most prevalent notion was that the entire franchise is built and draws the life force (pun unintended) from the Skywalker family. Before, the massive success of The Force Awakens was unthinkable without the revival of the key characters of the Skywalker family – Leia, Luke, and Han Solo. Not to mention the purposely left ambiguous nature of the relationship between Luke and Rey. The blockbuster performance of The Rogue One flies right in the face of that logic.
Everything about Rogue One’s performance is picture perfect. It has not even been a month since its release, and it has already made nearly as much as Batman vs Superman. It is now an absolute certainty that the movie will outperform Captain America: Civil War ($1.15 billion) to become the highest grossing movie of the year. In just three weeks of its release, it managed to sell a mindboggling 50 million tickets. Compare this with the 52 million tickets sold by Attack of the Clones, and 59 million sold by Revenge of the Sith. There is no doubt that Rogue One will be breaking a lot of records this year.
So, what does this mean?
It means that the audience is now looking for something fresh. They are ready to enjoy different stories from the Star Wars universe. In fact, considering that Rogue One has performed better than The Force Awakens so far, it wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that there is greater demand for alternative stories from this universe than those that revolve around the Skywalker family.
The success of Rogue One deserves special credit for another reason. There is no Jedi in the movie. For the first time in the history of Star Wars, there is neither a Jedi, nor anyone from the Skywalker family shown in the movie. Now consider this. What are the first things that come to your mind when you think about Star Wars? Jedi? Darth Vader? Luke? Leia? These things have come to define the Star Wars universe for the audience. And, they are not part of The Rogue One. (Actually, one of them is in the movie, but we won’t tell you which one. Because, spoilers!)
These two factors should give Disney the right kind of incentive to pursue a wide variety of stories. If one looks at the material available in the various Star Wars comics, novels, video games, animated series, and so on, there is no dearth of characters or compelling stories in them. In fact, a great many fans would love to have Disney working on those plots.
To Disney’s credit, they are working on ways to pursue different stories in the Star Wars universe. After all, Disney bought Lucasfilm for an astronomical $4 billion, and surely wants to cash in all the money it can from the deal. Creating spinoffs, and sequels is perfectly in line with that objective. In fact, Disney is already releasing a movie about the origins of Han Solo as early as May, 2017. Of course, when so much of money is involved, you can expect Disney to do some hedging to reduce its risk. So, by the end of this year, Disney will again return to a Skywalker story – Star Wars Episode VIII – a sequel to The Force Awakens. Disney has planned more spinoffs in the future, and it will be interesting to see how they will turn out to be.
Rogue One has delivered stellar revenues for everyone involved, from the production team to the screening theaters. And, this is just the beginning of a whole new line of spinoffs.
And no. There will not be any sequels to Rogue One. The reason is that there already is a sequel to it – A New Hope. That’s right. The adventures of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) are set in a time before the events of A New Hope. In fact, she was part of the original crew that made everything possible that gave the rebels Hope. It is only because of Jyn that Luke and his ragtag band of rebels could destroy the Death Star, much later.
It was Jyn’s and her team’s act of selflessness and bravery that resulted in the rebels finding the blueprints for the Death Star. And the rest, as they say, is history in a galaxy far, far away.
Despite all the freshness and changes to the franchise, The Rogue One leaves its audience with the same sense of awe and admiration for this huge universe as did A New Hope. Gareth Edwards has made a masterful use of technology to incite the same wonder in you when you see the Death Star, the destroyers, and the works. Under his experienced hands, Jyn turns out to be exactly what you need for a mission in the Star Wars universe – someone with vague history, father issues, and stupid enough to die for a cause. You simply can’t help but fall in love with her and her suicide squad. To see Rogue One and other Star Wars movies when they air on cable, make sure you have a cable package now!