And because of the performance of Disney titles the entire year, 2016 will likely end with three Disney properties leading the domestic box office: "Rogue One" (Lucasfilm) is probably going to be number one before the year is out, in second will be "Finding Dory" (Pixar), and third "Captain America: Civil War" (Marvel).
The rebels of "Rogue One" helped expand Disney's "Star Wars" empire with a big worldwide opening at the box office this weekend.
Last year's "Force Awakens" went on to become the biggest blockbuster in US history, but that film had more than 30 years of build-up behind it. "Rogue One" is a standalone movie with new characters, so comparing its box office totals to that of "Force Awakens" is like comparing apples to Death Stars.
"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" holds the December record with its $247.9 million opening a year ago.
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" soared to the top of the weekend box office as expected, scoring the second-best December opening ever with $155 million in estimated ticket sales.
Moviegoers who see "Rogue One" will also get a peek at next year's anticipated blockbusters: Trailers for the new "Guardians of the Galaxy", "Spider-Man" and "Fast & Furious" films play before the feature.
Like the rebels in the Death Star trench run, Disney is hoping that "Rogue One" can "stay on target" this weekend.
Unlike other films in the series, "Rogue One" did not focus on the Skywalker family, but instead introduced new characters like Felicity Jones' Jyn Erso and Diego Luna's Cassian Andor. "The good news is that the movie lived up to expectations".
The audience demographics for "Rogue One" this weekend were 59% male and 41% female, while 26% were between the age of 26 and 34, according to data shared by the studio. With the brief teaser, Disney gave fans the first glimpse of the new "Star Wars" film starring Felicity Jones.
Disney has scheduled Star Wars: Episode VIII or December 2017 and another stand-alone movie, about a young Han Solo, for May 2018. The movie is "a tense, well-made spacefaring war movie about a desperate and demoralized band of insurgents standing up against a rising authoritarian regime", according to NPR critic Chris Kilmek.
Red Kettle Rumble Challenge: Salvation Army in need of more help
CBS North Carolina was able to collect more than 2,250 toys during Stock the Sled due to the generous donations of the community. So far this year the annual collection is about $8,600 behind what was collected in recent years.