"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is off to an excellent start at the box office after scoring the year's biggest Thursday opening.

The movie pulled in $29 million from Thursday night previews, putting it ahead of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" ($27.7 million) and "Captain America: Civil War" ($25 million). But that number does fall short of the Thursday night earnings of last year's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" ($57 million).

"Rogue One" is projected to have a $135 to $150 million weekend at the box office, which would make it the second-highest December opening of all time (after "The Force Awakens," naturally).

It's all good news for Disney and Lucasfilm, since "Rogue One" is the first standalone "Star Wars" film and tells a different kind of story than the Skywalker saga. The success of "Rogue One" paves a smoother path for upcoming standalone movies, including the young Han Solo tale.

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