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Weekend Box Office: Rogue One a Force to be Reckoned With, Collateral Beauty Collapses

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By Chris Kavan - 12/18/16 at 07:12 PM CT

There was little doubt that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was going to rule the box office over the weekend, but the question was how was it going to compare to last year's record-breaking The Force Awakens? While it was never going to reach those lofty heights, Rogue One still managed an impressive feat. Collateral Beauty, on the other hand, didn't deliver much of a sentimental punch. It was better news for the expansions of both Manchester by the Sea and La La Land which, as awards season heats up, look to capitalize on their respective wins and nominations. The top 12 brought in $204 million, the second-best December weekend of all time behind just last year when The Force Awaken opened to obscene numbers.


It may not be The Force Awakens, but Rogue One is still a Star Wars film through and through. With a $155 million debut, Rogue One became just the second film (after The Force Awakens) to open with over $100 million in December. With just the weekend under its belt, Rogue One is already the 15th-highest grossing film of 2016. It is the third-best opening of the year behind Batman v Superman ($166 million) and Civil War ($179 million) and the 12th best opening of all time. It received an "A" Cinemascore among audiences - 66% of which was male and 39% was under 25. It earned $19 million from IMAX though it only had 38% of its grosses come from 3D screens. Even so, worldwide the film had already hit $290.5 million (just outside the top 20), but it could rise if numbers come in a bit higher on Monday. In any case, this is another certified hit as it will easily top its $200 million budget. It will, however, face more competition in the coming weeks. The Christmas weekend is going to have five new films opening between Wednesday - Sunday, including Passengers and Assassin's Creed, so don't look for Rogue One to have the staying power of The Force Awakens, either. Still, I'm confident this will continue to hold up through the new year and look for a total in the $400 million range or above and a good shot at $1 billion worldwide.


Disney had even more reason to celebrate as their animated hit, Moana, held up very strong in the face of such competition. Dipping just over 37% in its fourth weekend, Moana earned $11.66 million, raising its total to $161.8 million. That was enough to push Star Trek Beyond down a notch as Moana stands as the 12th-highest grossing film of 2016. It has been rolling out slowly worldwide, where it has made $280.3 so far. Moana is going to face its biggest test with the release of Sing, which should eat in to its family audience quite a bit. Still, Moana should be able to hit $200 million or get darn close by the time it exits theaters.


The ensemble comedy took a 50% hit over its opening weekend, delivering $8.45 million in its follow-up for a new total of $31.5 million. This one could benefit from the holiday theme next week, even with the competition. The $45 million film is still eyeing a $50 million total at least, but it has already topped that amount worldwide where it sits at $66.3 million. Given the talent involved, I'm surprised this hasn't done a bit better but in the end this is going to be in the black (unless its ad budget was huge) so it should turn out just fine.


It has been a banner year for Will Smith after Suicide Squad opened with the actor's best numbers - and now we're looking as his worst opening. The weepy, sentimental Collateral Beauty tried to position itself as the anti-Rogue One (much like Sisters did with The Force Awakens) but it found little joy. With just an $7 million opening, it became Smith's worst film as a lead, coming in ahead of last year's Concussion (at $10.5 million). While the film did draw a decent "A-" Cinemascore, with all the competition coming out next week, I predict this one is going to fade mightily fast and the $36 million film has no chance of making it that high - $25 million might be about the best it can hope for.


Rounding out the top five, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them took a 51.7% hit in the face of Rogue One but still delivered a $5.03 million weekend, giving the film a new total of $207.68 million. The film has become a monster globally, where it is fast approaching the $720 million mark. It looks like it won't have quite enough steam to catch up to Doctor Strange ($226 million and counting) but it's still a big win no matter how you look at it - especially as it has already topped the Marvel film overseas.

Outside the top five: Both of the expansions for our awards-season darlings did just fine. Manchester by the Sea landed in 6th place with a $4.15 million weekend (up 31%) for a new $14 million total. La La Land hit 200 theaters and flew from 15th to 7th place (a 356% increase) with $4 million and a new $5.26 million total. It still had an impressive per-theater count at $20,100 per theater - coming in only behind Rogue One ($37,287 per theater) for the best average in the top 12.

In milestone news Doctor Strange crossed $225 million with a 9th-place $2 million weekend for a new $226.1 million total. It has earned over $650 million worldwide.

Next week the long Christmas weekend gives us five new films: Sing, Passengers and Assassin's Creed all open Wednesday, the comedy Why Him? drops on Friday while the expansion for Oscar-hopeful Fences goes wide on Christmas Day itself.


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