“Rogue One” Obliterates the Competition


December 16-18, 2016

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story  $155.0 million
Moana $11.6 million
Office Christmas Party $8.4 million
Collateral Beauty $7.0 million
Fantastic Beasts
and Where to Find Them
$5.0 million


Decimating its competition, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story took the top spot at the box office with a commanding lead. Its estimated $155 million opening is of course well below The Force Awakens' record-breaking haul, but never had a hope of matching the hype for the first Star Wars movie in a decade. Still, it's the third-biggest opening of the year (behind Civil War and Batman v Superman) and the 12th biggest opening ever, nestled between the first two Hunger Games movies.

It will be interesting to see how the Star Wars saga performs, considering we'll be getting a new installment every year for the foreseeable future. Will passion burn out quickly, like it did for the Hunger Games movies? Or will it grow every year like the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Time will tell, but it's yet another massive feather in the cap of Disney, which owns seven of the top 15 movies of the year. That will be nice for them, since Moana is now in danger of finishing with less than $200 million, even though it was one of the top two movies for a solid month.

Office Christmas Party fell to No. 3, and will just barely make back its $45 million budget. But that was more than enough to beat Collateral Beauty, which despite its cast of movie stars and Oscar winners, coughed up a mere $7 million, which is Will Smith's worst opening ever. Fantastic Beasts finished its last week in the top 5, with only $5 million.


Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Fences, the acting showcase for Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. This adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play averaged $32,000 on each of its four screens.
  • Manchester by the Sea and La La Land both made the most of their expansions, making major leaps. The former expanded to about 1,200 screens and took in $4.1 million. The latter did nearly as well, even though it only showed on 200 screens.
  • The biggest competition to those two at the Oscars is still Moonlight, despite that film sputtering in the mid-teens. It's only taken in $11 million in nine weeks. Though expect it to expand once it's nominated for a slew of Academy Awards.


Next week: Christmas finally comes, bringing with it a bevy of new titles, none of which will dethrone Rogue One, which should make another $80 million over the weekend. The closest competition will be from the mega-watt star power of Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, whose space romance Passengers should make about $75 million from Wednesday to Sunday. The animated animals-belting-out-pop-hits curiosity Sing could also make it a tight race, especially with school letting out. It should make about $60 million in that same time frame. That means both Assassin's Creed and Why Him? will take in less than $20 million over the busy weekend.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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