You Won’t Believe What’s Tops At Box Office – OK, It’s ‘Rogue One’

By December 18, 2016
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We shouldn’t even have to tell you what the No. 1 movie in North America was over the weekend, because if you don’t know, you’ve been living in a bomb shelter for many months and probably have much more important news to catch up on.

But we’ll say it anyway, because that’s what we’re here to do – Rogue One easily took the top spot at the box office over the weekend, its estimated $155 million almost making us forget there are other films playing in the movie theaters.

The Star Wars anthology film finished about where many observers expected it to be, and was well-short of the $248 million opening of last year’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But as we keep saying, Disney and Lucasfilm never expected to compare the two, and are going to be quite satisfied with the film’s numbers in the end.

Rogue One averaged more than $37,000 per screen, which also made it the highest-grossing film per screen of the weekend, at least based on early returns that have been reported to The Numbers. That could, of course, change once final numbers come in early next week.

The win for Lucasfilm pushed down another Disney film that had been at the top, Moana, which lost just 37 percent of its market from the week before to finish second with $11.7 million. That brings its 26-day total to $161.9 million, which Rogue One will obviously have surpassed by the time we reach “hump day” this week.

The only other major wide release opening this week was Collateral Beauty with Will Smith, Edward Norton and Keira Knightley, which earned $7 million for Warner Bros., enough for No. 4. Paramount Pictures’ Office Christmas Party, which debuted in second place last week, lost half its opening with a $8.5 million, falling to third. It now has a 10-day total of $31.5 million.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them rounded out the top five with $5 million, bringing its 31-day total to $207.7 million.

Rogue One also picked up $135.5 million overseas, bringing its opening weekend total globally to $290.5 million. The United Kingdom led that charge from individually reporting countries with $24 million, followed by Germany with $12.5 million.

The top five films for the week earned $187.1 million, down nearly 35 percent from a year ago when The Force Awakens dominated over two other new releases, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and Sisters. It was up from last week, however, by 234 percent, when Moana and Office Christmas Party were the top two films.

Expect to see more Rogue One at the top of the box office for a while. Even if it plummets hard from its opening weekend, we’re still talking about a $70 million second week. But the other studios are going to throw everything at Star Wars it can, including Assassin’s Creed from Twentieth Century Fox and Passengers from Sony Pictures.

Universal also will open Sing with Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Seth MacFarlane, which already has earned $17.4 million overseas, some $4 million of that from Germany.

Rogue One certainly is no Force Awakens, but it is still Star Wars, and received solid reviews, so how the Christmas holiday week shapes out will be very interesting to watch.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael began what has become nearly 19 years of entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based out of New York City where he is the editor of a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper in the Bronx.
  • revengeofzodlovesmaude

    R1 is fantastic! Love this film! The ending with everyone dying is brave af!

    • Oh hey, look! I’m spoiling the film for everyone else! I am so cool!

      ::rolls eyes::