“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” went full light speed ahead at the Thursday previews, grossing $29 million and becoming the biggest Thursday preview of the year.
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” had a Thursday preview gross of $27.7 million while “Captain America: Civil War” earned $25 million at the Thursday box office.
Last year, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” shattered preview records when it raked in $57 million on Dec. 17, beating “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by almost $14 million.
It also became the first movie in history to gross more than $100 million in a single day. J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi sequel also posted the biggest December opening, grossing $248 million its first three days.
“Rogue One” stars Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen and Riz Ahmed. It takes place between the prequel and original trilogies, and depicts Erso’s efforts to steal the plans for the Death Star, the ultimate weapon of the Galactic Empire, which has terrorized the galaxy far, far away since the first “Star Wars” in 1977.
“Rogue One” also earned $3.7 million on Thursday from 401 IMAX screens — the most IMAX domestic theaters to ever show a movie in previews. The film’s reviews are solid so far, with a fresh rating of 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film has opened in 47 territories so far, with roughly $33 million coming from key markets like the United Kingdom ($5 million), Australia ($3.6 million) and Germany and France ($3.1 million). “Rogue One” had the highest opening day of 2016 in Australia, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Scandinavia and Switzerland.