“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is already a hot ticket. The space opera spinoff recorded the second-highest first day of pre-sales in domestic box office history, Imax Entertainment CEO Greg Foster said at an investor conference on Tuesday.
The record-holder for first day pre-sales is “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which debuted last year to nearly $248 million. “Rogue One” is on track to open to north of $130 million when it debuts on Dec. 16. Foster didn’t give specifics about how many tickets had been sold.
Fandango and MovieTickets.com, the country’s two leading digital ticketing services, both report that “Rogue One” was the biggest first day of pre-sales for the year.
Foster said that the Imax portion of those sales is “on the high end of the range of what the blockbuster biggest titles have done.”
“There’s a strong sense of optimism about the movie,” he said, adding, “There’s a sense that the consumer marketplace has embraced the film in its first 36 hours.”
“Rogue One” caps a record-breaking year for Disney, the company that shelled out $4 billion in 2012 to buy Lucasfilm. The film unit has established a new high-water mark at the box office thanks to hits such as “Moana,” “Doctor Strange,” “Finding Dory,” “Zootopia,” and “The Jungle Book.”
“Rogue One” is the first standalone “Star Wars” film to exist apart from the Skywalker family saga. Lucasfilm is also planning to do an origin story about Han Solo’s early days, and has cast Alden Ehrenreich in the lead role. There are two other “Star Wars” sequels on deck in the coming years, which will continue the stories of Luke, Leia, and the next generation of Jedi knights.
“Rogue One” is directed by Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla”) and stars Felicity Jones as a rebel fighter tasked with stealing plans for the Death Star.