- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” blasted into theaters with a $29 million opening night, according to Friday estimates from Disney.

It’s the biggest Thursday preview of 2016, narrowly topping “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’s” $27.7 million and “Captain America: Civil War’s” $25 million. But it doesn’t hold a candle to last year’s Star Wars installment “The Force Awakens,” which brought in a record $57 million from Thursday night showings.

Directed by Gareth Edwards and set before the events of the original 1977 “Star Wars,” ”Rogue One” is the first in a series of planned spinoff films set in the Star Wars universe. It’s expected to earn over $130 million this weekend, which would make it the second-biggest December debut ever behind “The Force Awakens,” which fetched $247.9 million.

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