Box Office: ‘Rogue One’ Soars With Second Highest December Opening

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(DECEMBER 16 – DECEMBER 18, 2016 estimates)

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story(Opening) – $155,000,000
  2. Moana(Week 4) – $11,664,000
  3. “Office Christmas Party” (Week 2) – $8,450,000
  4. “Collateral Beauty” (Opening) – $7,000,000
  5. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (Week 5) – $5,030,000
  6. Manchester by the Sea (Week 5) – $4,156,338
  7. La La Land(Week 2) – $4,020,000
  8. Arrival(Week 6) – $2,775,000
  9. Doctor Strange(Week 7) – $2,036,000
  10. Nocturnal Animals (Week 5) – $1,391,380

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  • Rogue OneThe box office was utterly dominated by “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” The standalone Star Wars feature was able to assemble the second highest December opening weekend of all time, behind last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” This was also good enough to be the 12th highest opening weekend in history, behind “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” However, by opening in December, the film will be able to take advantage of the high multipliers that come with the Christmas holiday. If the film performs the same way “The Force Awakens” did last year, we are looking at a total domestic gross of over $575 million. The overseas gross for the film was nearly as strong as domestic. This puts its worldwide opening weekend total at a robust $290 million. The force was very much with “Rogue One” for its opening weekend.
  • After three weekends at the top, “Moana finally vacated her throne. Still, the Disney animated movie was able to achieve the smallest dip of the top 10. The film only saw a 37 percent drop in its fourth week. While other titles were decimated by “Star Wars,” families still turned out to see the film. The film’s domestic total stands at a strong $161 million, while worldwide it posts $280 million. If families continue to head in droves, the film could pass $200 million by the new year.
  • Office Christmas Party” didn’t receive any Christmas bonuses in its second weekend. The movie lost half of its opening weekend business. This brings the film’s domestic total to $31 million and worldwide total to $51 million. Only costing $45 million to make, this is a healthy enough gross for the picture, but isn’t quite a runaway success.
  • There wasn’t much Christmas cheer to go around for Will Smith’s “Collateral Beauty.” After being savaged by critics, the holiday film wound up with only $7 million on its opening weekend. Playing in over 3,000 theaters, the film only mustered a sad per-theater average of $2,312. This marks the lowest opening weekend gross for a Will Smith wide release movie ever. The previous record holder was last year’s Christmas outing, “Concussion.” If this film performs in the same vein as that film, it’s looking at a gross below $25 million domestically. It seems the king of the $100 million grossers has started to lose his touch.
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” finally conjured its way past the $200 million mark. The film dropped 51 percent against “Star Wars” in its fifth weekend in theaters. However, it was able to bring its domestic total to $207 million and worldwide total to a staggering $717 million. This is a fantastic showing for the first of a five-part series, as it should pass the $750 million mark shortly over the holidays. Joining the billion dollar club seems a bit out of reach at this point, but doesn’t damper the film’s success.
  • Oscar hopeful “Manchester By the Sea” tried to capitalize on a good week with Golden Globes and SAG nominations by expanding wide to 1,208 theaters. This boosted the film’s box office 31 percent from last week for a solid enough per-theater average of $3,441. This sets the film up nicely to play throughout the holiday season, where people will watch it to catch up on the Oscar hopefuls. The independent film’s domestic gross stands at a strong $14 million, and should only see that continue to climb over the coming weeks.
  • The other big hit this weekend was the expansion of Oscar frontrunner “La La Land.” The original musical catapulted to 200 theaters following its record breaking opening weekend. It seems the buzz has only continued to grow for that film. It managed to make $4 million from 200 theaters for a $20,100 per-theater average. Set to go live on Christmas Day, the film should manage to clean up wallets over the holiday season.
  • Arrival” hit its first box office speed bump as it went up against Star Wars. The well reviewed sci-fi drama dropped 50 percent in its sixth weekend. This was its first weekend outside of the top five. Still, this is not to distract from the remarkable run the film has had. To date it has grossed $86 million domestic and $135 million worldwide. With awards potential abounding, the film should be able to hang on long enough to pass $100 million domestically.
  • Marvel’s late year hit “Doctor Strange” stuck around the top 10 in its seventh week of release. The superhero film dropped a substantial 55 percent in the face of “Rogue One.” Still, the domestic total for the film stands at a robust $226 million, not to mention the worldwide tally of $652 million. The film may get lost over the holidays with new films coming out. However, it has already made its fortune for Disney and Marvel.
  • After its first weekend of wide expansion, the polarizing “Nocturnal Animals” saw its audience scared away. The film dropped 56 percent, nearly putting it out of the top 10. With “Manchester by the Sea” and “La La Land” making their successful expansions, this seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle. To date, the film has grossed $8 million domestic and $20 million worldwide.

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  • Natalie Portman’s new biopic “Jackie” hoped to see great success as it expanded into 58 theaters. However, in a competitive market, the film was only able to see an 11 percent bump in gross. The film made $550,000 for a per-theater average of $6,548. That’s not a terrible showing, but it will need to build a larger audience for when it tries to expand wide. With the indie film scene very competitive at the moment, it will be harder to break through.
  • The Denzel Washington-Viola Davis theater adaptation “Fences” opened to packed houses in four theaters this weekend. The film was able to gross $128,000 for a solid per-theater average of $32,000. The film is set to go wide on Christmas Day, so it will be interesting to see if this opening is a harbinger of good things to come.

What did you see this weekend? Did anyone see anything besides “Rogue One”? Let us know what you saw in the comments.