Box-Office Preview: ‘Rogue One’ Could Blast Past $300M in Global Debut

Felicity Jones and Diego Luna in ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

Stay on target.

That’s the mantra as Lucasfilm and Disney get ready to launch stand-alone film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at the worldwide box office. The film is widely expected to score the second-best December debut of all time behind last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with a domestic opening of $135 million to $150 million for a global debut of $300 million to $350 million, according to bullish box-office observers.

Disney is being more conservative and saying $120 million to $150 million domestically, since December isn’t historically known for huge box-office openings because of holiday preparations. The studio’s overseas estimate is $130 million to $150 million for a worldwide tally of $250 million to $300 million.

Force Awakens — which revived the storied sci-fi film franchise — was the major exception to the December rule in debuting to a record-breaking $529 million worldwide. Previously, no December film had ever launched north of $85 million in North America or $250 million globally, including Avatar.

Trying to manage expectations, Disney has said all along it doesn’t expect Rogue One to match Force Awakens, since it is a stand-alone film with a new story and new main characters. Directed…