A year ago, fans were preparing for the release of the first new Star Wars movie in a decade, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was set after the events seen in Return of the Jedi 32 years ago. In just a few short days, fans will get to explore an uncharted place in the Star Wars timeline with the first standalone movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will definitely open big at the box office this weekend. While there had been initial tracking reports that the studio was eyeing a $130 million opening weekend, with all of the glowing reviews that have come in, it seems likely that this movie may open even higher, and we're predicting an opening weekend of $145.6 million. But Star Wars fans are never to be underestimated. It's possible that Rogue One could break some Star Wars records, and it will likely break quite a few other 2016 box office records as well.
Even if it does debut north of this Star Wars opening weekend projection, it's still highly unlikely that it will be able to catch the record-breaking debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which earned $247.9 million in its first three days of release at this same time last year. That adventure went onto break the domestic box office record, shattering Avatar's $760.5 million domestic total by taking in a whopping $936.6 million throughout its domestic run. However, while it became only the third movie in box office history to cross $2 billion at the box office, it couldn't surpass both of James Cameron's blockbusters, Titanic ($2.1 billion) and Avatar ($2.7 billion) on the worldwide charts. It seems unlikely that Rogue One will give Titanic, Avatar or even Star Wars: The Force Awakens a run for its money, but it could start a precedent of big debuts for the rest of these Star Wars spin-offs, especially with Han Solo coming next. Even if you're not excited about seeing a young Han Solo, we have a feeling curiosity will bring in a lot of potential haters.
Box Office Mojo reports that Rogue One will open in more than 4,000 theaters this weekend, with its only competition, Warner Bros.' Collateral Beauty, set to open in more than 2,900 theaters. Reviews are just starting to come in today for Rogue One, although the buzz from the Star Wars premiere and press screenings over the past few days have been overwhelmingly positive. Collateral Beauty, on the other hand, currently has a 0% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Although there are currently only six reviews posted at this time. Despite an all-star cast, lead by Will Smith, Collateral Beauty was never expected to give Rogue One any competition, with this drama likely debuting in a distant second place with $12.6 million. Still, Rogue One comes just in time to revitalize the box office for one final push in 2016, after two lackluster weekends in a row in what could be considered a disappointing year overall.
The first two weekends of December were dominated by holdover Moana, with only two new movies arriving in wide release, Incarnate, which opened in ninth place with $2.6 million and last weekend's holiday comedy from Paramount, Office Christmas Party, which opened in second place with a decent $17.5 million. This weekend will also feature an expansion into roughly 1,200 theaters for the critically-acclaimed indie Manchester-by-the-Sea, which has been pulling in impressive numbers since its limited release debut on November 18. This film, starring Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, took in $256,498 from just four theaters for an impressive $64,125 per-screen average. It has continued to expand in the following weeks, playing in 48 theaters over the November 25 weekend, pulling in a $25,541 per-screen average, followed by 156 theaters on December 2 for a $14,557 per-screen average and 366 theaters last weekend for a $8,556 per-screen average, cracking the top 10 for the first time in 8th place. We're predicting that it will continue to rise through the top 10, taking
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, with Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel are producing, with John Knoll and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The story is by John Knoll and Gary Whitta, and the screenplay is by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy.
In Collateral Beauty, when a successful New York ad executive suffers a personal tragedy and retreats from life, his friends devise a drastic plan to reach him before he loses everything. Pushing him to the very edge, they force him to confront the truth in surprising and profoundly human ways. From Oscar-winning director David Frankel, this thought-provoking drama explores how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of beauty, and how the constants of love, time and death interlock in a life fully lived. The cast includes Will Smith, Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley, Naomie Harris, Michael Pena, Kate Winslet and Jacob Latimore.
The top 10 will likely be rounded out by Moana ($9.3 million), Office Christmas Party ($8.6 million), Manchester-by-the-Sea ($7.2 million), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ($6.1 million), Arrival ($3.8 million), Doctor Strange ($3.2 million), Allied ($2.9 million) and Nocturnal Animals ($2.1 million). Paramount will also debut Fences, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in New York and Los Angeles before expanding nationwide on Christmas Day. Also opening in limited release is The Orchard's Neruda, Indican's The Grace of Jake, Independent's Hollow Point and Lionsgate Premiere's Solace. It isn't known if there are plans for the rest of these to expand throughout the holiday season.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three new releases open on Wednesday, December 21, while another debuts on Friday, December 23. 20th Century Fox's Assassin's Creed will go up against Sony's Passengers and Universal's Sing on December 21, with 20th Century Fox's Why Him? opening on December 23. Also opening in limited release on December 21 is Lionsgate's harrowing drama Patriots Day, Sony Pictures Classics' Julieta and UTV's Dangal, while Focus Features' A Monster Calls and Paramount's Silence debut in limited release on December 23. Take a look at our projected top 10 at the box office for the weekend of December 16.
|1||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story|
|4||Office Christmas Party|
|6||Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them|