Box Office: ‘Sing’ Only New Release to Challenge ‘Rogue One’

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(DECEMBER 23 – DECEMBER 25, 2016 estimates) (4-day estimates in Italics)

  1. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (Week 2) – $64,377,000/$96,085,000
  2. “Sing” (Opening) – $35,290,000/$56,080,000
  3. “Passengers” (Opening) – $14,850,000/$23,100,000
  4. “Why Him?” (Opening) – $11,050,000/$16,715,000
  5. “Assassin’s Creed” (Opening) – $10,280,000/$15,000,000
  6. “Moana” (Week 5) – $7,402,000/$10,447,000
  7. “Fences” (Week 2) – $6,688,000/$11,366,000
  8. “La La Land” (Week 3) – $5,729,400/$9,700,000
  9. “Office Christmas Party” (Week 3) – $5,115,000/$7,250,000
  10. “Collateral Beauty” (Week 2) – $4,275,000/$7,060,000

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  • Rogue OneSanta was very good to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Over the Christmas holiday, the film got close to surpassing $100 million for the four day weekend alone. The domestic total of the film stands at a remarkable $318 million, making it the fifth highest grossing Star Wars film of all time (fourth if you only count the initial run of the original “Star Wars”). Overseas, the film’s total rose to $555 million and should climb past the $1 billion mark before the end of its run. It is a bit unfair to compare performance to “The Force Awakens,” as it is the highest grossing film of all time. However, that film only saw a 39 percent week-over-week decline from its landmark opening. “Rogue One,” on the other hand, saw a more distressing 58 percent decline. This might signal that the rabid “Star Wars” fanbase might not be seeing the film multiple times as they had with “The Force Awakens.” Still, at this rate, the film should be able to pass $400 million by the New Year and end up with over $500 million by the end of its run. That’s not too shabby for the first designated standalone story in the Star Wars universe.
  • Out of the newcomers to the box office, “Sing” was the only one to make a dent in the box office. The animated film achieved the 13th best Christmas Day gross, right in line with “Marley and Me” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.” Since opening on Dec. 21 the film has grossed $76 million in six days. That puts it right in line with its production cost of $75 million. If it performs more like “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” it could make it to $200 million domestic. However, a final gross between $150 and $175 million seems more apt.
  • Things weren’t as starry for the star-studded “Passengers in its opening week. The Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence sci-fi romance only mustered $30 million in its first six days of release. Even if it recovers throughout the week and on New Year’s Day, the film at best can look forward to a $75 million finish. That’s quite a bit less than the $110 million price tag attached to the film.
  • Audiences didn’t seem to be asking for “Why Him?” this Christmas. The R-rated comedy took in a paltry $16 million over the first four days of release. This puts the film in line for a domestic final total of near $40 to 45 million. However, the film’s production budget was only $38 million, which mitigates the failure of the film.
  • The biggest turkey of the Christmas openings was the video game adaptation “Assassin’s Creed.” Boasting some of the worst reviews of the year, the film only managed to gross $22 million over the first six days of release. This points to a domestic total that will struggle to pass $50 million. Making matters worse is the film’s hefty $125 million production budget. Between this and “Why Him?” Fox did not have the most enjoyable Christmas. Even overseas, the film hasn’t really made a dent. The current worldwide total of the film is at $36 million.
  • In its fifth week of release, “Moana” finally dropped out of the top 5. Disney’s latest animated tale saw a 41 percent decline, as it faced heavy competition from other family fare, such as “Sing.” Still, the film’s performance is an unqualified success. The film has made $183 million domestically and $327 million worldwide. While this is still a far cry from the $1 billion that “Frozen” made, it is the sixth highest grossing film from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Domestically it is also far outpacing “Tangled” and should be able to pass the $200 million domestic box office mark.
  • Denzel Washington’s new movie, also starring Viola Davis, “Fences waited until Christmas Day to move from four theaters to 2,233 theaters. If one only looks at those two days, the film managed to outperform both “Why Him?” and “Assassin’s Creed.” This is great news for the Oscar hopeful, which hopes to capitalize on its big names to draw audiences to the drama. With $11 million grossed to date, the film can springboard off of good word of mouth to close in on the $50 million mark, or possibly more, by the end of its run. Costing only $24 million to make, the film will be a late success story for Paramount.
  • Best Picture frontrunner “La La Land” jumped from 200 theaters to 734 theaters on Christmas Day. Both those days saw per-theater averages upwards of $5,000, an amount among wide releases only bested by “Rogue One.” As word of mouth starts to spread on the film, it continues to add money to its coffers. The film has grossed $17 million to date domestically and $35 million worldwide. That’s not bad for the $30 million musical, which still has plenty of room for further expansion. Not to mention it has already cleared some room on its mantel for more awards. Currently, its performance is much like Ryan Gosling’s last Oscar hopeful, “The Big Short,” which saw similar performance over Christmas and went on to gross $70 million domestically.
  • The R-rated comedy “Office Christmas Party” had its last hurrah this weekend over the Christmas holiday. The film dropped 40 percent from last week and raised its domestic gross to $44 million. With the holidays behind it, the film will most likely fade quickly and inch past the $50 million mark. This is a respectable enough outcome for the $45 million budgeted film. Overseas, the film has performed about as well as it has domestically. Its worldwide total currently stands at $81 million. This gives it a shot to cross $100 million worldwide.
  • Will Smith’s much maligned bomb “Collateral Beauty” rounded out the top 10. The poorly reviewed film saw a solid 39 percent decline in its second weekend. Unfortunately, the film’s total stands at a meager $18 million domestic and $29 million worldwide. Even with a relatively average $36 million production budget, this film will struggle to get into the green. This remains Will Smith’s lowest grossing wide release film to date. That previous honor belonged to 2000’s golf drama “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

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  • SilenceA cornucopia of new films opened in limited release over the Christmas holiday, to varying degrees of success. The strongest per-theater average of the week went to Martin Scorsese’s latest film “Silence.” In just four theaters, the film grossed $180,000 over four days for a $45,000 per-theater average. Among Scorsese films that started in limited release, this hews most closely to “Kundun” from 1997. It will be interesting to see how the brutal nearly three hour story of missionaries in Japan will appeal to a wider audience. Yet, the biggest success was the period drama “Hidden Figures,” which opened in 25 theaters on Christmas Day and made $515,000 for a $20,620 per-theater average, the biggest of that day. Also performing at or above the per-theater average of “Star Wars” were the Boston Marathon bombing drama “Patriot’s Day ($161,000 gross, $23,044 per-theater average) and Pedro Almodovar’s latest “Julieta” ($91,000 gross, $15,318 per-theater average). However, not every limited opener saw success. Ben Affleck’s “Live by Night only saw $33,000 on Christmas Day for a per-theater average of $8,250. This ensures we don’t have another “Argo” on our hands. Bringing up the rear was “A Monster Calls,” which saw $30,000 for the weekend. This leaves it with a per-theater average of $7,728.
  • Some expansions in specialty releases didn’t see themselves make the top 10. Natalie Portman’s “Jackie” moved to 348 theaters, but only saw $1.2 million over three days. This led to a per-theater average of $3,549. There’ll be more life if Portman continues to dominate awards coverage. Another Oscar hopeful, “Lion,” saw more lackluster performance. Expanding into 500 theaters, the film only managed $897,000 for three days. This only amounted to $1,794 per-theater average. The film should receive a second gust of life if it gets some major awards attention. Through Monday, the film has made a total of $2.5 million.

Did you and your families run off to the theaters this Christmas? Let us know what you saw in the comments.