The holiday frame at the box office is always a crowded one, but this year seems to be more jam-packed than years prior. There were six new movies opening between December 16 and December 23, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Collateral Beauty, Passengers, Sing, Assassin's Creed and Why Him?, with Paramount's Fences also expanding nationwide. None were able to come close to Rogue One over the Christmas holiday weekend, as it took in $64.3 million for the three-day weekend, and $96 million for the four-day holiday weekend. This weekend, there is actually no competition for Rogue One, at least in wide release, meaning it should have no trouble taking the top box office spot for a third weekend in a row.
The Star Wars spin-off will only have two indies in limited release as its competition this weekend, Bleecker Street's critically-acclaimed Paterson and GKIDS' animated film Ocean Waves, both of which are opening in limited release tomorrow, December 28. Box Office Mojo doesn't have exact theater counts for Paterson or Ocean Waves, but they surely won't be in enough theaters to give Rogue One a run for its money. With no other films expanding this weekend, and no new films in wide release, we're predicting this will be the rare weekend where the top 10 remains completely intact from last weekend, with Rogue One remaining atop the box office for a third weekend in a row with $29.2 million.
Rogue One has currently earned $318 million domestically and $555.4 million worldwide, from a whopping $200 million budget. As of now, it's currently the ninth highest-grossing movie of the year, and if it hits its $29.2 million projection for this weekend, it will leap ahead Suicide Squad ($325.1 million), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($330.1 million) and Zootopia ($341.2 million) as the sixth highest-grossing movie of the year. It still has some work to do to get into the top 5 for the year, though, which is comprised of Deadpool ($363 million), The Jungle Book ($364 million), The Secret Life of Pets ($368.4 million), Captain America: Civil War ($408.8 million) and Finding Dory ($486.2 million). It remains to be seen how it will fare against the competition next year, or if Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be able to surpass $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
As stated earlier, we're predicting the top 10 will remain unchanged, with Sing staying put in second place with $18.6 million, followed by Passengers ($7.4 million), Why Him? ($6 million) and Assassin's Creed ($5.3 million). The top 10 will be rounded out by Moana ($4.8 million), Fences ($3.9 million), La La Land ($3.6 million), Office Christmas Party $2.7 million) and Collateral Beauty $1.9 million. Out of last weekend's four newcomers, Sing was the only critically-acclaimed new releae with 72% on Rotten Tomatoes). Passengers scored a 32% RT rating, with Why Him? earning a 41% RT rating while Assassin's Creed earned just a 19% RT score. As of now, Paterson currently has an impressive 93% rating on RT, although there aren't enough reviews posted for Ocean Waves quite yet.
Paterson (Adam Driver) is a hardworking bus driver in Paterson, N.J., who follows the same routine every day. He observes the city and listens to fragments of conversations while picking up and dropping off his passengers. Paterson also writes heartfelt poems in a notebook, walks his dog and drinks one beer in a bar after his shift is over. Waiting for him at home is Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), his beloved wife who champions his gift for writing. Paterson is written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, with a supporting cast that includes Rizwan Manji, Barry Shabaka Henley, Chasten Harmon, William Jackson Harper and Method Man.
Ocean Waves was released in Japan in 1993, but it never received a theatrical or a home video release in the United States, until now. Rarely seen outside of Japan, Ocean Waves is a subtle, poignant and wonderfully detailed story of adolescence and teenage isolation. Taku and his best friend Yutaka are headed back to school for what looks like another uneventful year. But they soon find their friendship tested by the arrival of Rikako, a beautiful new transfer student from Tokyo whose attitude vacillates wildly from flirty and flippant to melancholic. When Taku joins Rikako on a trip to Tokyo, the school erupts with rumors, and the three friends are forced to come to terms with their changing relationships. Ocean Waves was the first Studio Ghibli film directed by someone other than studio founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, as director Tomomi Mochizuki led a talented staff of younger employees in an adaptation of Saeko Himuro's best-selling novel. Full of shots bathed in a palette of pleasingly soft pastel colors and rich in the unexpected visual details typical of Studio Ghibli's most revered works, Ocean Waves is an accomplished teenage drama and a true discovery.
The top 10 will be rounded out by Moana $4.8 million), Fences ($3.9 million), La La Land ($3.6 million), Office Christmas Party ($2.7 million) and Collateral Beauty ($1.9 million). Next weekend marks the first official frame of 2017, with Screen Gems' Underworld: Blood Wars being only new movie opening in wide release. Focus Features is also expanding A Monster Calls nationwide, but no exact theater count has been given yet. Also opening in limited release is Film Movement's The Ardennes, IFC's I, Daniel Blake and Well Go USA's Railroad Tigers. Take a look at our projected top 10 for the weekend of December 30.