It should come as no surprise that a movie with "Star Wars" in the title would have some rosy prospects at the box office. But early projections for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," the first spinoff film from the folks at Lucasfilm, are much rosier than anticipated.

Advance tracking is pegging the flick for an opening in the $130 million range, and that's on the conservative side of estimates. Some analysts are predicting as much as a $150 million haul for the space saga, a stunning sum for a feature starring a bunch of unknown characters.

But that's the prestige of the "Star Wars" brand, which has proven more powerful than even the magical "Harry Potter" franchise in recent years. While audience anticipation was high for prequel flick "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," it still only managed a $75 million opening weekend, off of estimates in the $80 million range. (The film has since gone on to prove it will have some strong legs at the box office, earning an impressive $65 million in its second frame this past weekend.)

With advance ticket sales already tracking well for "Rogue One," and audience interest peaking as far back as January, it looks like the sky's the limit for the venerable sci-fi franchise. The film opens on December 16.

[via: The Hollywood Reporter]

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