It should come as no surprise that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story debuted at the top of the charts with a $155 million three-day total, marking the third largest opening of 2016, the fourth largest December weekend ever, and twelfth largest opening of all-time, and the second film to open north of $100 million in December, behind only last year’s Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. With that $155 million, Rogue One is now already the fifteenth highest grossing movie of 2016. The movie also has the highest per screen average out of the top fifty movies, with $37,309 on 4,157 screens (also the highest screen count). Internationally, Rogue One earned nearly $135 million in 54 markets for a $290 million global total. The film’s budget is estimated to be in the $200 million range.
But it won’t be smooth sailing for the movie, which will face a slew of high profile contenders (also seeking awards notice) over the Christmas holiday. With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, the studios are taking advantage of Wednesday, Friday and Sunday to release their latest films, including Sing, Passengers, Assassin’s Creed and Why Him?. The Force Awakens faced four major releases after its opening last December and dropped just 40% in its second week. How Rogue One stands up to the competition will give a good indication of how well it will do in the long run.
It continues to be a stellar year for Disney, which also held on to the Number 2 spot with Moana, which dropped only 31% and earned $12.7 million. After four weeks, the film has earned $163 million domestically, with a global total of $282 million. Disney also still has Doctor Strange hanging on in the Top Ten at Number 9 with $2.2 million. The Marvel production has earned $226 million domestically after seven weeks and $653 million worldwide.
Getting some boosts this weekend, Manchester by the Sea added 842 screens to bring its total up to 1,208, gaining 34% and moving up one spot to Number 6 with $4.2 million. More impressive, La La Land added 195 screens to its five from last week and rose by 366%, moving up from Number 15 to Number 7 with $4.1 million. The per screen averages for both films show a striking contrast with Manchester earning $3,513 per screen and La La Land bringing in $20,510 per screen, the third highest average in the Top Fifty. Second place went to Fences which opened in limited release on just four screens, averaging $32,366 for a total of $129,462, good for 25th place.
The news wasn’t so good for the weekend’s other high profile opening, the Will Smith weeper Collateral Beauty which could only muster $7.1 million on 3,028 screens, landing at Number 4 — the worst wide opening ever for a Will Smith film, well below his previous worst, last year’s Oscar hopeful Concussion. The film earned just $4.9 million in foreign markets for a global take of $12 million against an estimated $36 million budget. Audiences liked the film, but with stuff competition coming in the week ahead, the film will struggle to hang on.
The coming week will be interesting and we’ll run some numbers for you on our social media pages. Stay tuned for a full report after the Christmas holiday!
Below are the Top Ten actual numbers for the weekend of December 16.
4. [N] Collateral Beauty – $7,102,085 [NEW]
10.  Nocturnal Animals – $1,407,088 [$8,828,454]
[#] Last week’s position. [N] New in theaters. ★ HOTCHKA review | Source: Box Office Mojo