The experiment worked! The first Star Wars standalone movie is a critical and commercial success.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story took $155 million at the US box office in its opening weekend, but falls short of The Force Awakens' $248 million domestic debut. Worldwide takings are $290.5 million and, with the festive season fully underway, that's only going to increase as more fans and cinema goers flock to multiplexes around the world.
Director Gareth Edwards' instalment is a dark chapter in the franchise and there's a high body count. Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst with comScore, said the film lived up to expectations.
Based on the success of Rogue One and The Force Awakens, he said: "The next film in the Star Wars saga has the potential to claim the title as the biggest movie of all time."
Star Wars will be an annual festive tradition for years to come. Well, until at least 2020.
May I wish all my readers a fantastic festive period, whatever you may be doing, and all the best for the New Year! Thank you for all your comments. I'm off to see Rogue One, again, and hope you all find Star Wars goodies under the Christmas tree.
See you in 2017 for the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars' release in the US and Rian Johnson's Episode VIII.