Fans are excited, but will “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” continue the box office magic?

Posted at 11:40 AM, Dec 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-14 11:40:45-05

(CNN) - As “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” blasts into theaters around the globe, fans are abuzz.

The old characters are back. And even a few new ones.

There also are the rumored storm trooper cameos by Prince William and Prince Harry.

The last installment in the series, "The Force Awakens," was such a huge success at the box office. It set a record for the highest grossing weekend ever for a film in the United States and collect $2 billion at the box office. 

But it was the first new “Star Wars” film in a decade, something the latest movie doesn’t have going for it. This one is the third in three years.

Disney CEO Bob Iger says he’s not worried about franchise fatigue.

"We think the way we're releasing them is the right way so that the trilogy, in this case, is every other year,” Iger said. “We filled in the middle with something that is not part of the trilogy so we don't think we're overdoing it at all."

Since buying Lucasfilm in 2012, Disney has brought some superhero marketing strategy to the galaxy far, far away.

“Iron Man,” “Captain America” and “Thor” have all been successful individual films outside of “The Avengers” franchise.

Last year saw the debut of “Rogue One,” the first of several standalone movies in what’s being called the “Star Wars Anthology” series.

It was well-received by critics and the box office take wasn’t bad either. Although it was about half of what the ultra-successful “The Force Awakens” did, “Rogue One” still pulled in more than $1 billion.

"The last movie was sort of a test case on how the new franchise with J.J. Abrams would do. People bought into it, it was very successful,” said Kevin Quigg, a chief strategist with ACSI Funds. “So that increases the likelihood that they're not just seeing if they like it, they know they like it, they're going to see it again to continue the story."

Disney is counting on the force to be strong with this one for quite some time.

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