Weekend Box Office

Box Office: Rogue One Launches with $290M Global Debut

by | December 18, 2016 | Comments

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story(Donnie Yen)Ph: Film Frame©Lucasfilm LFL

This weekend, legions of Star Wars fans flooded the multiplexes and powered the new franchise film Rogue One to number one with a colossal $155M opening in North America and $290.5M worldwide, according to estimates. The Disney release attacked 4,157 domestic theaters and averaged a stellar $37,287 per site.

The debut was down 38% from the record-breaking $248M launch for Star Wars: The Force Awakens from this same weekend a year ago. As the first spin-off film in the series, Rogue One was always expected to be smaller as TFA had more anticipation built up around it. For 2016, the new Death Star flick scored the third best opening weekend of the year behind Captain America: Civil War ($179.1M) and Batman v Superman ($166M). Overall, Rogue One‘s opening weekend ranks number 12 on the all-time list and second best ever for December after TFA.

The frame began with an opening day Friday of $71.1M which included $29M from Thursday night pre-shows starting at 7pm. Saturday dropped by 35% to $46.4M. That was a smaller dip than TFA‘s 43% from last year. Then Sunday is estimated to decline by 19% to $37.6M. TFA dipped 11% on its Sunday, however there were more schools closed on Monday at that time which helped Sunday traffic. Deadly winter snowstorms hit some regions of the country this weekend and some of the lost business is expected to be picked up in the coming days.

Critics and audiences alike have been very happy with Rogue One. Reviews were mostly positive and ticket buyers polled by CinemaScore gave an A grade, same as Force Awakens. 59% of the audience was male, almost identical to TFA‘s 58%. The share of the gross from 3D screens went down, however, to 38% from TFA‘s 47%.

With very few characters from past Star Wars movies, Rogue One entered the marketplace a little more like an original sci-fi film. That means upfront demand may not have been as strong as it was for TFA which returned beloved characters like Han Solo back into the fold for the first time in over three decades. If more of the Rogue One audience is fine with seeing the film later it could end up with better legs than TFA which went on to finish its domestic run with 3.8 times its opening weekend gross at $936.7M. A similar path forward would lead to a final domestic gross of around $580M since the holidays will be lucrative. Last year, TFA amassed nearly $300M from just the eight-day period of Christmas to New Years.

Marketing on Rogue One was strong. After seven episodes from the main Star Wars storyline, this was the first attempt at an offshoot with a story that took place around the same time period as the first film from nearly 40 years ago. Being darker and more serious, it has less kid appeal and also the mainstream appeal from general audiences is seen as less too. But the Jyn Erso film does hope to win over more moviegoers by having a good product and generating hot buzz.

Rogue One took off in all international markets except China and Korea this weekend and generated $135.5M led the $21M from the U.K. Last year, TFA saw a 55/45 split between international and domestic as the brand does play extra well in America. Action tentpoles often do 60-70% of their global business from foreign markets.

With the holidays ahead, Rogue One looks on track to become the highest-grossing film of 2016 both domestically and globally. Current records are held by Finding Dory with $486.3M domestic and Captain America: Civil War with $1.15B worldwide. In North America, the top three hits of the year should end up being Lucasfilm’s Rogue One, Pixar’s Dory, and Marvel’s Civil War. All are owned by Disney which is capping off another spectacular year at the box office and once again has set up a promising slate for 2017.

The mighty Disney empire also took second place with the animated hit Moana taking in an estimated $11.7M for a commendable 37% decline against the opening of a massive tentpole. To date the toon has grossed $161.9M domestic and $280.3M worldwide. Falling 50% in its sophomore session was the comedy Office Christmas Party with an estimated $8.5M giving Paramount $31.5M to date.

Will Smith suffered the worst wide release opening of his career with his latest film Collateral Beauty which was dead on arrival grossing only $7M this weekend, according to estimates. Averaging a puny $2,312 from 3,028 locations, the PG-13 film was panned by critics and never generated much interest to begin with. Earlier this year, Smith starred in the ensemble smash Suicide Squad which became the highest grossing film of his career with $325.1M.

Dropping to fifth place in its fifth weekend was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with an estimated $5M, off 52%, for a new domestic cume of $207.7M. Warner Bros. smashed the half-billion mark overseas this weekend as the international tally climbed to $509.8M putting the global haul at $717.5M. The wizard film may be able to cross the $800M mark over the holidays.

Some major awards contenders followed after expanding their releases. The critically acclaimed Manchester By The Sea went from 366 to 1,208 locations and grossed an estimated $4.2M for a decent $3,440 average. The musical La La Land took its first big leap into broader release widening from five to 200 sites and collected an estimated $4M for a dazzling $20,100 average. Totals are $14M and $5.3M, respectively. Both earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture.

The sci-fi drama Arrival fell 50% to an estimated $2.8M giving Paramount a stellar $86.5M. Doctor Strange took in an estimated $2M, down 55%, for a new cume of $226.1M for Disney. Rounding out the top ten was the dark thriller Nocturnal Animals which dropped 56% to an estimated $1.4M. Focus has banked $8.8M.

Paramount platformed Denzel Washington’s new film Fences in four theaters and saw strong business grossing an estimated $128,000 for a solid $32,000 average. Reviews have been positive all around and the studio will go nationwide on Christmas Day.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $201.5M which was down 33% from last year when Star Wars: The Force Awakens debuted at number one with an industry record $248M; but up 65% from 2014 when The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies opened in the top spot with $54.7M.

Follow BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

Tag Cloud

TV boxoffice YouTube Red Comics on TV comic WGN justice league Best and Worst Christmas Awards Lucasfilm HBO golden globes serial killer Masterpiece Starz TCA 2017 BET Superheroe E! Warner Bros. TV Land IFC Films Marvel Creative Arts Emmys sitcom Lifetime 21st Century Fox sports Biopics Ellie Kemper CW Seed 20th Century Fox Grammys FOX A&E crime drama discovery political drama Calendar USA Network Disney mutant Red Carpet Martial Arts Comedy Central TBS TNT TCA Polls and Games El Rey doctor who Extras BBC America MSNBC Nickelodeon OWN Musical singing competition SDCC Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Opinion Thanksgiving YA President Reality Competition National Geographic adventure Animation robots thriller Winners Fox News cinemax VICE Mystery APB Interview Columbia Pictures docudrama Rock Amazon Paramount Network what to watch Photos Logo supernatural social media composers RT History Walt Disney Pictures TIFF Fall TV Ghostbusters Trivia GLAAD Drama First Look USA Box Office Writers Guild of America TruTV Summer police drama Sundance Premiere Dates romance Nominations Holidays hist Dark Horse Comics Music Trailer Shudder anime ABC Family harry potter Valentine's Day Crackle politics Oscars VH1 Lionsgate Apple LGBTQ crime Awards Tour SXSW CBS The Arrangement IFC finale FX Netflix psycho Comic Book cults Star Wars NBC TLC Paramount BBC Tumblr AMC zombies Sony Pictures travel television CNN Spike San Diego Comic-Con festivals FXX YouTube Premium Teen Pop Adult Swim Acorn TV Election Super Bowl Shondaland blaxploitation PaleyFest See It Skip It cops Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt New York Comic Con History streaming science fiction Sneak Peek Video Games Certified Fresh CMT Sundance Now Action E3 GIFs Cosplay cooking Song of Ice and Fire Bravo CBS All Access Character Guide Epix Quiz 2017 Freeform Star Trek Esquire SundanceTV Horror Pixar Schedule medical drama comiccon DirecTV crime thriller The CW Set visit Showtime unscripted TCM 2015 GoT aliens biography cats Comedy Ovation Emmys Country technology ratings Pirates Watching Series spy thriller X-Men ESPN historical drama PBS 2016 Hulu diversity dceu ABC talk show Cartoon Network Kids & Family 24 frames ITV Nat Geo binge American Society of Cinematographers Year in Review Mindy Kaling NYCC Tomatazos period drama Spring TV transformers Countdown Food Network war dramedy 007 based on movie DC Universe Winter TV Universal Musicals crossover Toys Fantasy Britbox dc Reality Podcast Mary Tyler Moore Sci-Fi Western Rom-Com Rocky vampires zombie 45 DC streaming service Disney Channel Superheroes Trophy Talk Syfy Marathons MTV DC Comics Infographic jamie lee curtis