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Rogue One Opens in Shades of Grim

It's opening weekend for Rogue One, the first “one-off” Star Wars movie. Though it officially opens Friday 12-16, it effectively opens this afternoon for most of us. Most, if not all, theaters are already sold out; pre-sales are said to have crashed the Fandango website when tickets first became available.

Early reviews from advanced showings of the film appear to be largely positive. Rotten Tomatoes currently has it rated somewhere north of 80%. If the film does as well as expected, it will give Disney (which purchased Lucasfilm for $4 billion 4 years ago) their fourth billion dollar movie in a year.

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Rogue One Opens in Shades of Grim

The Economist recently described the movie thusly (no spoilers),

“The most striking thing about Rogue One is that it imagines how the world of Star Wars would appear if the magic were drained out of it. Nearly all of its vistas incorporate grey sand, dark skies, driving rain or thick fog, while most of its po-faced characters are dressed in black and khaki. Perhaps inspired by the phrase ‘War is Hell', the film suggests that Star Wars can be hell, too. While the 1977 film had a handsome young daredevil, a beautiful princess and a wise wizard trouncing a diabolical villain, the new one paints the Rebellion as a messier business involving guerilla combat, collateral damage, squabbling factions and unheroic deaths.”

Fortune believes we can realistically expect Rogue One to generate ticket sales somewhere in the neighborhood of what Captain America: Civil War did. CA:CW is the current 2016 leader in box office sales, having brought in approximately $1.15 billion USD in global sales so far this year.  Disney reportedly expects the new Star Wars prequel to take in around $150 million in North America this weekend (also near what CA:CW did).

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The Verge‘s Bryan Bishop also recently reviewed the film, saying (no spoilers),

“…you’ll have to pay attention. The movie moves quickly, and Rogue One throws a lot at its audience in the first hour without much beyond sheer momentum to hold things together. Unlike a traditional Star Wars sequel (or prequel), Rogue One has to build itself — and establish its characters — from the ground up, and the film occasionally struggles with the workload. Breaking from the hero’s-journey convention that powered the original Star Wars trilogy is part of what makes the idea of a standalone movie so compelling, but at times, the film doesn’t entirely know where to place its emphasis. It’s torn between the Empire’s nefarious actions, the Rebellion’s politics, and the gradual coming together of Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and her ragtag group of freedom fighters.”

The Rogue One: A Star Wars Story website can be found right here.


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