"Rogue One" jumped at lightspeed at the box office over the weekend, putting Disney in position to potentially become the first studio with four billion-dollar films in one year.
The standalone prequel to "Star Wars: A New Hope" garnered $155 million at the domestic box office, making it the second-highest domestic December opening of all time. It came in just behind "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which was released last year.
Disney had expected "Rogue One," which CEO Bob Iger called "an experiment, of sorts," to bring in between $135 million and $140 million domestically over weekend. After toppling that goal — and pulling in $290.5 million globally — "Rogue One" is now poised to be Disney's fourth billion-dollar film of 2016, Erik Davis, managing editor of Fandango, told CNBC.
"I think it's going to be close," Davis said.
"Captain America: Civil War," "Finding Dory" and "Zootopia" are the other Disney films that have passed the billion-dollar mark this year.
Unlike "Batman vs. Superman" and Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War," which had the highest opening weekend grosses for 2016, "Rogue One" featured a cast of relatively unknown characters. Though it received mixed reviews, its early box-office success could entice Disney to take more risks in the future, Davis said.
The studio is slated to release two more saga films (sequels to "The Force Awakens") and a standalone, yet-unnamed Han Solo film. It is also slated to release a third standalone film, but has yet to confirm a title or release date. Disney did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.
Fans have long speculated that a third film will either feature Boba Fett or Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, Davis said it's possible the third movie could feature a new set of characters that are loosely connected to the main "Star Wars" narrative. He compared it to what Disney has done with its Marvel films.
Marvel has taken lesser known superheroes and integrated them into the bigger cinematic universe. For example, "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Doctor Strange" are relatively niche comic books, but were merged into the canon of the Avengers films through the Infinity Stones story line and were incredibly successful at the box office.
"Guardians of the Galaxy" brought in more than $773 million globally, and "Doctor Strange" has raked in more than $652 million at the global box office.
"It goes to show you that 'Star Wars' as a brand is probably the strongest brand next to Marvel Studios," Davis said.