"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" has the potential to boost Disney's flattening earnings and prove that the "Star Wars" franchise can generate profits for years to come as long as the new film draws the crowds it expects, Disney analyst Barton Crockett told CNBC on Friday.
"I think that this is crucial for Disney," said Crockett, who works at FBR Capital Markets. "It's not just 'does this movie do well,' but it's the argument that 'Star Wars' can be an annuity business rather than just a flash in the pan [or a] couple of successful movies."
The latest spin-off of the iconic space saga has to perform extremely well so that Disney's earnings estimates don't fall under pressure, Crockett told CNBC's "Squawk Box," adding that the film is already anticipating being 2016's biggest box office success.
Last year's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was the top movie of the year, making box office history by grossing $1 billion in ticket sales in just under 130 days. As of January, the movie had raked in about $1.983 billion worldwide.
But Disney's epic tale doesn't end with "Rogue One," the analyst said.
"I think the 'Star Wars' movies, going forward, need to be in the ball park of 'Rogue One' to 'Force Awakens' in order to meet expectations that these guys can hang on to the very high studio profits that they enjoy right now," Crockett said.
The analyst said that as Disney focuses on pushing growth, which is largely fueled by the small part of its business that is the theme parks, some of the incoming administration's policy proposals could bring welcomed change to Disney's operations.
"If we put through lower tax rates under [Donald] Trump and if we also end the deductibility of interest, that skews very well for Disney," Crockett said. "Disney might be the best exposed media conglomerate in a new tax regime."
"These guys are more domestic than peers, they're less levered than peers, so the value lift to their equity and their earnings could be higher," Crockett contended.
But is the importance of "Rogue One" a bit overstated? Bernstein's Senior U.S. Media Research Analyst Todd Juenger thinks so, he told CNBC in an interview on "Squawk Alley."
When it comes to Disney, which has a $169 billion market cap (or value of all its outstanding shares), even a crowd-pleaser like "Rogue One" won't make much difference to Disney's stock, Juenger said.
"'Star Wars' obviously matters more in terms of the whole arc of the franchise and the consumer products that are tied to it and the future many films to come, but in terms of whether this beats a little bit or comes in a little below expectations on the film, I'd be shocked if the stock really moves either way," the analyst said.
Juenger said it was good to see Disney doing some risk-taking with a film that broke out of the original trilogy format of the "Star Wars" franchise.
"One thing that you hope for the vitality of movie-going business is that we don't get too formulaic," Juenger said. "And if you're going to take a few risks, here's a good vehicle to do it."
"I think there's probably more upside in taking a risk than downside," he added.