The question was never, “Will Rogue One win its opening weekend?” It was by how much. While no one expected it to pull in the record-breaking numbers of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, tracking for the first Star Wars spinoff was strong, and the film pulled in a healthy $155 million domestically on its opening weekend in 4,157 theaters and $290.5 million globally, which is good enough for the second-highest opening in December behind Force Awakens.
This opening bodes well for the future of Star Wars spinoffs. Disney did a solid job of selling the movie, and it shows that the Star Wars franchise can easily rake in the cash even if it’s pushing a movie that’s not part of the main saga. Of course, now the question becomes what kind of legs Rogue One will have. The movie nabbed an “A” CinemaScore, so word-of-mouth should be strong enough to carry it through the holiday season. While it’s unlikely to match The Force Awakens’ impressive total, Rogue One should still be a massive hit for Disney and an encouraging sign for future spinoffs.
The other question is how future Star Wars movies will fare. While Rogue One is enjoying its day in the sun, fans’ attention will quickly shift to Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII. Sequels tend not to perform as well as the originals, but people really warmed to Force Awakens’ new characters, so it’s possible that the next chapter in the Star Wars saga could set entirely new records.
Meanwhile, the week’s other new wide release, Collateral Beauty performed horribly. Despite pulling in an A- CinemaScore the movie only grossed $7 million from 3,028 theaters, which is a career worst opening for star Will Smith. According to THR, the film cost $36 million to make, so perhaps internationally and with home release it can scrape back its budget, but I suspect Smith will be far more wary of taking Oscar-bait in the future. Considering the success of Suicide Squad, he may just stick with blockbusters.
Over in indie releases, Kenneth Lonergan’s excellent Manchester by the Sea expanded nationwide and pulled in $4.2 million from 1,208 theaters for a domestic total of $14 million. While that’s a solid total for a grief drama, it only narrowly beat out La La Land, which made $4 million from only 200 cinemas for a 10-day domestic total of $5.3 million. Also in specialty box office, Denzel Washington’s Fences opened in limited release and made $128,000 from four theaters in Los Angeles and New York for a screen average of $32,000. The Oscar-hopeful expands nationwide on Christmas Day.
What did you go and support this weekend? Let us know, and check out the full Top 10 weekend box office results below:
|1||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
|3||Office Christmas Party
|5||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
|6||Manchester by the Sea
|7||La La Land