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How Much More Money Could ‘Rogue One’ Make?

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,”1 the most recent entry in an ongoing war documentary series that has gripped the nation for decades, pulled in an impressive $155 million at the North American box office this past weekend.

So, how does that stack up? And what does it mean for the movie’s future grosses? Making box-office predictions is a frivolous and quixotic venture, so we’re not going to try it. But benchmarking a movie and comparing it to similar ones? Hell, why not.


After pulling data from The Numbers, a box-office database and adjusting for inflation, I figured out which previous movies had the closest-to-$155 million opening weekends. The data is reliable back to 1995, and since then, “Rogue One” has had something like the 28th-best opening weekend, just behind classic holiday movies like “The Passion of the Christ” and just ahead of nerd catnip like “Spider-Man.”

Of those similar box-office performances, the worst-performing of the batch — “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2” — made about $317 million in North America (in 2016 dollars) when all was said and done, while the best-performing — “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” — made around $478 million. So, that’s a pretty wide range of possibilities. The median movie made $396 million, not a bad haul at all. That’s almost enough to justify a sequel, and golly I wonder what’s going to happen with that Death Star and those stolen plans.


  1. The Star Wars franchise is owned by Disney, as is FiveThirtyEight.

Walt Hickey was FiveThirtyEight’s chief culture writer.