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‘Rogue One’ to Reach Up to $300 Million on Global Debut

Hotly anticipated Lucasfilm prequel to soar among top 20 all-time openings

Disney’s Lucasfilm prequel “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is set to open to $150 million domestically, according to an average of multiple estimates obtained by TheWrap.

The studio has set $150 million on the high end of those predictions and $120 million on the low end.

Counting international estimates, the highly anticipated tentpole will earn up to $300 million globally this weekend — as it rolls out in all major territories abroad, except for China and South Korea.

These aren’t quite “Force Awakens” numbers — but domestic estimates represent roughly more than half of the record-breaking $248 million that the previous “Star Wars” movie debuted to at the same time last year.

The second “Star Wars” movie to come out since Disney acquired Lucasfilm stars Felicity Jones as rebellion leader Jyn Erso.

It was made for a reported $200 million (not counting marketing costs) and will play in more than 4,100 theaters in the U.S. and Canada — which includes roughly 400 IMAX screens, and more than 500 Premium Large Format screens.

“Rogue One” should easily enter the ranks of the top 20 movie openings of all time. A number of $150 million would rank it 14th, just behind “The Hunger Games” and “Spider-Man 3,” and ahead of “Furious 7.”

Directed by Gareth Edwards, the “Star Wars” prequel also stars Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker.

So far, “Rogue One” has a 79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes as its reviews embargo lifted on Tuesday.

But wait. There are, indeed, other movies that are daring enough to compete with “Rogue One” this weekend:

Trackers and distributors at Warner Bros. have Will Smith’s holiday drama “Collateral Beauty” opening to more than $12 million, set to screen in more than 2,000 locations.

The New Line release was produced for $36 million and has a 14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes so far — but that could easily jump to a higher figure as many more critics are set to weigh in.

“Collateral Beauty” is something of a modernized “It’s a Wonderful Life,” directed by David Frankel (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Marley & Me”). It stars Will Smith, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris, Helen Mirren and Michael Peña and revolves around a New York executive (Smith) who retreats from his life after suffering a great personal tragedy. He later seek answers from the universe on the topics of Love, Death and Time.

“La La Land” expands to roughly 200 theaters in its second weekend. Made for a $30 million (not counting marketing costs), the Lionsgate film starring a singing and dancing Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling debuted to a record-breaking $881,104 last weekend, representing the highest per-location average of all time for five theaters.

Writer-director Damien Chazelle’s lauded musical also features Finn Wittrock, Sandra Rosko and John Legend. It has a 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and scooped up the most Golden Globe nominations of any film this year. It also won Best Film honors from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the Critics’ Choice Awards — among several other awards it has already garnered.

“Manchester by the Sea” expands in its fifth weekend, after already amassing $3.1 million in its limited release. The Roadside Attractions drama has a nearly perfect 97 percent on the aforementioned reviews aggregation site. It was written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, who also wrote and directed the widely lauded 2011 drama “Margaret.” He also wrote the screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” and the Robert De Niro comedy “Analyze This.”

“Manchester” also has a lot of awards season heat behind it, as star Casey Affleck won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor on Sunday. Also starring Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler, it is a forlorn family tale about deep loss and its toll.