Rogue One: A Star Wars Story reigns atop the box office for the second week in a row, while newcomers Passengers and Assassin's Creed miss the mark

By Joey Nolfi
December 27, 2016 at 09:48 AM EST
Sony Pictures; Kerry Brown; Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm LFL 2016

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story kept fanning the flames of Disney’s record-setting year at the box office, storming past a crowded slate of new holiday releases to claim the top spot on the domestic chart for the second week in a row.

The Gareth Edwards-directed space opera — which takes place shortly before the events of Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope — fell just under 59 percent across its sophomore frame, finishing the three-day weekend with an estimated $64.4 million. The film’s four-day gross is estimated to tally $96.1 million for a $555 million worldwide haul in just 10 days.

Unadjusted for inflation, Rogue One‘s $318.1 million North American total is now the fourth-largest in Lucasfilm’s history and the ninth-highest of 2016. By the end of its run, Rogue One will likely dethrone fellow Disney release Finding Dory ($486.3 million) as the year’s top-grossing picture.

At a distant second is Illumination and Universal’s Sing, the animated family musical featuring the voices of Scarlett Johansson, Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, and Seth MacFarlane. The film bagged $35.3 million for the three-day weekend, a number that inflates to an estimated four-day take of $56.1 million. Sing‘s holiday numbers are just over half of what Universal’s summer hit The Secret Life of Pets ($104.4 million) did in July, meaning the $75 million film will likely finish in the $150-$200 million range.

Rounding out the top three was the Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt vehicle Passengers, a $110 million space-set, Morten Tyldum-directed sci-fi romance with a first-weekend gross proving its leads are as prone to stumbles as other A-list stars.

Passengers scored $14.9 million across the three-day weekend ($30.4 million since its Wednesday bow), heading for an estimated $23.1 million when Monday’s numbers are finalized. The film’s three-day gross marks the second lowest wide-release in Lawrence’s filmography to date, unadjusted for inflation, surpassing only the $12.3 million weekend gross of the 2012 horror flick House at the End of the Street. In all fairness, Lawrence has, to date, primarily fronted franchise-fueled pictures with a pre-established audience, including three X-Men titles and four Hunger Games movies – all of which debuted to a figure anywhere between $55-$158 million. Pratt’s star has risen considerably since he shot to fame as part of NBC’s Parks & Recreation cast, with each of his last four movies opening to at least $34 million at the weekend box office, though Passengers registers a notable end to that winning streak.

At No. 4, the James Franco/Bryan Cranston laugher Why Him? posted a so-so estimated $11.1 million between Friday and Sunday, though the number climbs to an estimated $16.7 with Monday figures. The three-day take falls in line with other R-rated comedies from 2016, including January’s Dirty Grandpa ($11.1 million opening, $35.6 million total) and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates ($16.6 million opening, $46 million total), which bodes well for the film’s long-run prospects.

Making a dismal $10.3 million at No. 5 is the video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed, a $125 million production starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Though the series upon which it’s based is one of the most popular on the market, audiences were likely dissuaded by the film’s poor critical reviews and confusing marketing campaign, which teased a narrative that deviated from that of the games’.

On the prestige front, Denzel Washington’s Fences added 2,229 locations over the weekend, finishing the weekend at No. 7 with  $6.7 million – a solid number considering the film’s relatively low $24 million budget and the fact that it opened on Christmas Day, with only Sunday’s ticket sales counting toward the film’s total. The number drastically increases to a much brighter $11.4 million with Monday’s sales included. Damien Chazelle’s La La Land also dips one spot on the top 10, but its total ticket sales increased to an estimated $5.7 million from 734 theaters. The presumptive Best Picture contender has thus far earned $35.3 million worldwide on a $30 million budget.

Registering the highest per-screen averages of the week are limited bowers Silence ($32,750), Patriots Day ($23.044), Hidden Figures ($20,620), and Julieta ($15,318), while the likes of Ben Affleck’s Live By Night ($8,250 per-screen average) and J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls ($7,728 per-screen average) debut on four theaters each.

Check out the Dec. 23-26 box office estimates below:

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – $64.4 million ($96.1 million four-day)
  2. Sing – $35.3 million ($56.1 million four-day)
  3. Passengers – $14.9 million ($23.1 million four-day)
  4. Why Him? – $11.1 million ($16.7 million four-day)
  5. Assassin’s Creed – $10.3 million ($15 million four-day)
  6. Moana – $7.4 million ($10.5 million four-day)
  7. Fences – $6.7 million ($11.4 million four-day)
  8. La La Land – $5.7 million ($9.7 million four-day)
  9. Office Christmas Party – $5.1 million ($7.3 million four-day)
  10. Collateral Beauty – $4.3 million ($7.1 million four-day)