Weekend Box Office Report: ‘Rogue One’ Sneaks Into the Box Office and Steals First Place
Everyone knew that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story wasn’t going to match the opening weekend of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That film had hype on its side, drawing off the power of a lengthy dry spell for fans and the presence of the original trilogy’s cast members. It’s unlikely that any Star Wars movie will match it ever again. With all of that said, the opening weekend of Rogue One should still be considered an enormous success, especially since these numbers would be nothing short of indisputably incredible if Star Wars wasn’t in the title.
|1||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||$155,000,000||$37,287||$155,008,000|
|3||Office Christmas Party||$8,450,000 (-50.0)||$2,632||$31,518,000|
|5||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them||$5,030,000 (-51.7)||$1,657||$207,681,000|
|6||Manchester by the Sea||$4,156,000 (+31.0)||$3,441||$14,016,000|
|7||La La Land||$4,020,000 (+356.2)||$20,100||$5,260,000|
|9||Doctor Strange||$2,036,000 (-55.1)||$1,055||$226,086,000|
|10||Nocturnal Animals||$1,391,000 (-56.0)||$1,117||$8,812,000|
While falling very short of the $247 million opening of The Force Awakens, the $155 million Rogue One made over its first three days in release is a large step beyond the early predictions, with the film having a stronger Saturday than expected. This is the first piece of hard evidence that Disney’s plan to annualize Star Wars may not be so crazy; here is proof that audiences — and not just the dedicated nerds — will want to return to this universe in films that are only loosely connected to the main “episodes.”
Right now, it’s too early to tell how far Rogue One will go. It certainly won’t get near the $2 billion international gross of its predecessor, but it certainly has a strong shot at $1 billion worldwide and $400 million-plus at the domestic box office. It should play well through the holidays by default and the wasteland that is early January will give it the edge in the weeks beyond. However, the final gross is dependent on one thing: whether or not people like the movie and encourage their Star Wars-agnostic friends to go see it. That’s going to mean the difference between a hit and a smash.
You may have no realized it, but Rogue One wasn’t the only new release this week. Collateral Beauty flopped into fourth place with only $7 million, the victim of weak marketing and many, many scathing reviews labeling it one of the worst films of 2016. Next weekend’s grosses will be the box office equivalent of a highway accident rubberneckers — who will slow down to examine to the carnage?
While Star Wars will grab all the headlines, this weekend wasn’t just about enormous franchises, with Manchester by the Sea and La La Land expanding into more theaters and apparently packing every auditorium. The former made $4 million in sixth place, bringing its current gross to $14 million. The latter made $4 million in seventh place, making an astonishing $20,000 from each of its 200 theaters. And both films are only warming up, too. When the Oscar season kicks into high gear after the holidays, both will continue to play and play well.
The rest of the top 10 fell about where you’d expect. Moana weathered the Rogue One storm with grace, grossing $11 million in second place for a $162 million total. You can expect it to play strong through the rest of the month, even with the specter of Sing hanging over it. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them held on tight as well, making $5 million in in fifth place for a $207 million total. Doctor Strange, looking to exit the top 10 as early as next week, will do so with nearly $230 million in the bank.
Elsewhere, it looks like Arrival is facing an uphill struggle to $100 million, but it’s still performed far beyond expectations. And what are we to make of Office Christmas Party, which dropped 50% and fell to third place with $8 million? It’s not exactly a hit, but if it can take advantage of holiday moviegoers over the next two weekends, it could be one yet.