Last night, the countdown towards the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story finally came to an end, with Thursday night preview screenings. Some lucky fans were surprised with a special treat, as director Gareth Edwards showed up to introduce the event, along with stars Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk. If you weren't one of the lucky fans in attendance at this one screening last night, thankfully there is video of this surprise introduction.
Riz Ahmed posted the video on his Instagram, which shows Gareth Edwards introducing the cast members, who were all received with thunderous applause by the audience. The screening location hasn't been named, but it's clear that the theater was packed, which isn't surprising, since the early box office number are indicating this could already be a huge hit. The early box office projections put this film at around $130 million but now it may debut even higher.
Earlier today, we reported that Rogue One earned an impressive $30 million during Thursday night preview screenings. While this figure certainly reveals that the movie is getting off to a good start, it still falls way short of the all time record, set almost exactly one year ago today, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens' $57 million tally. Last year's highly-anticipated adventure would go on to break several box office record, including the highest three-day opening weekend ever, $247.9 million. It would go on to earn a record-breaking $936.6 million domestically, but it couldn't break Avatar's $2.7 billion global record.
A few days ago, another report revealed that Rogue One was eyeing a $350 million worldwide opening weekend, which would be the third highest global debut of the year, behind Warner Bros.' Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice ($422.5 million) and Marvel Studios' Captain America: Civil War ($379.5 million). As of now, Disney Pixar's Finding Dory holds the top spot at the domestic box office with $486.2 million, with Captain America: Civil War currently holding the worldwide crown with $1.1 billion. There are only two other movies to cross the $1 billion milestone this year, Finding Dory ($1.027 billion) and Zootopia ($1.023 billion), with all three released by Disney-owned companies.
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. After Rogue One, Disney will roll out a Han Solo spin-off, starring Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover as Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, which is set for release on May 25, 2018. The studio is also planning a third spin-off for 2020, which has been rumored to center on Boba Fett. Take a look at Riz Ahmed's Instagram video from a screening of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.