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Rogue One’s opening weekend is fourth-best for December

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Trails Avatar, Lord of the Rings and, uh, last year’s Star Wars flick

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - Cassian Andor with K-2SO Walt Disney Studios

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story pulled in $135.5 million for its premiere weekend, according to Deadline, good for the fourth best December opening ever. Still, that means the film is performing according to conventional expectations more than it is a breakout hit.

Deadline notes that Rogue One is playing in 54 offshore markets, buttressing its box office take and appeal. The film has a 77 percent "fresh" rating among top critics from aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. (Polygon praises it as "a brilliant war movie that happens to have Darth Vader in it.")

The $155.5 million figure places Rogue One behind last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens (at $281 million), 2009's Avatar ($164.5 million) and 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ($138 million) for top-grossing December films.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story concerns the plot to steal the technical plans to the Death Star, which was destroyed in the climax of Star Wars' landmark premiere nearly 40 years ago. Felicity Jones stars as the protagonist operative Jyn Erso, alongside Diego Luna as her handler, Cassian Andor. Numerous name-checks and references to other parts of the Star Wars canon are littered throughout the new film.