Weekend Box Office: One with the Force

The Force has awoken. Again. If Disney can keep it up, it will continue to do so each year until the well has entirely dried up – but that’s not likely to happen in the foreseeable future. As ‘Star Wars’ was cleaning up at the box office this weekend, Will Smith’s latest Oscar bait flopped.

The first ‘Star Wars’ spinoff, ‘Rogue One‘, had a stellar opening. From 4,157 screens, the prequel easily topped the charts with a $155 million haul. That makes it the third-highest opening of 2016 behind ‘Captain America: Civil War’ ($179.1 million) and ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ ($166 million). ‘Rogue One’ didn’t pull ‘Force Awakens’ numbers ($247.9 million), but it’s certainly a huge success and a sign that moviegoers will follow the franchise in any direction that Disney decides to take it.

International audiences also showed up in droves to see what the latest ‘Star Wars’ flick had to offer. The film’s initial rollout included 54 markets, where it made $135.5 million. The $200 million blockbuster debuted globally to $290.5 million. ‘Rogue One’ may not top the $1+ billion that ‘The Force Awakens’ earned, but it’ll do just fine. The Force is strong with this (rogue) one.

Disney also locked in second place with ‘Moana‘, which drew another $11.6 million. Now four weeks into its run, the animated musical’s domestic total is up to $161.8 million, with another $118.4 million internationally for a $280.2 million worldwide total.

In its second week, ‘Office Christmas Party‘ dropped off a bit steeper than most seasonal releases and comedies. The 50% decline bumped it down it into third place. The $8.4 million weekend places its ten-day total at $31.5 million. $19.8 million has come from international showings, giving the $45 million R-rated movie a $51.3 million worldwide total.

Ahh, hell no! Will Smith’s feel-good Christmas drama signals a serious problem with the actor’s star power. ‘Collateral Beauty‘ debuted in fourth place with just $7 million, marking the worst opening of Smith’s career. The ensemble film cost $36 million to produce and has no chance of coming close to earning that back domestically. It made $4.6 million internationally, but that’s also not enough to get Warner Bros. out of the red.

Five-week-old ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them‘ rounded out the Top 5. With ‘Star Wars’ jumping into the mix, the ‘Harry Potter’ spinoff took its second-hardest week-over-week drop yet (52%). Having grossed $207.6 million domestically and $509.8 million internationally, the movie’s worldwide total is at $717.4 million, which is the ninth-biggest of the year.

Of note, ‘Manchester by the Sea‘ added 842 screens to its release, placing it at a total of 1,208 locations. It made it into the #6 spot with $4.1 million and has now earned $14 million domestically. ‘La La Land‘ pushed out to 195 new locations, putting it on a total of 200 screens. Finishing in seventh place, it came in just behind ‘Manchester’ with $4 million. As of now, weekend estimates are so close that they could very well swap positions when the actual figures are tallied later today.

Fences‘, which was directed by and stars Denzel Washington, opened at four locations and drew $128,000. That gave it a solid per-screen average of $32,000. As of now, Paramount still plans to expand the stage play adaptation widely on Christmas Day.

Top 10:

1. ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ (Buena Vista) – $155,000,000

2. ‘Moana’ (Buena Vista) – $11,664,000

3. ‘Office Christmas Party’ (Paramount) – $8,450,000

4. ‘Collateral Beauty’ (Warner Bros.) – $7,000,000

5. ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ (Warner Bros.) – $5,030,000

6. ‘Manchester by the Sea’ (Roadside) – $4,156,338

7. ‘La La Land’ (Lionsgate) – $4,020,000

8. ‘Arrival’ (Paramount) – $2,775,000

9. ‘Doctor Strange’ (Buena Vista) – $2,036,000

10. ‘Nocturnal Animals’ (Focus) – $1,391,000

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