The 12 Days of Box Office: Day 3
By David Mumpower
December 25, 2016

Go. Celebrate.

Merry Christmas from the staff at BOP!

Today is ordinarily when you would read our Weekend Wrap-Up, but we’re going to delay that until tomorrow for a couple of reasons. The first is that you wouldn’t read it anyway since TLDR is especially applicable to Christmas day. The second is that many studios have kindly given their employees the day off. So, a lot of numbers are either delayed or won’t become official until late today or possibly tomorrow. There’s no point in waiting around, so let’s just hit the basics.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story finished in first place, which is akin to saying that the world didn’t end overnight. It’s the runaway box office champion of the holiday season, and that will remain true through the (merciful) end of 2016. Of course, its Saturday performance wasn’t great, as Tim warned you would be the case in yesterday’s article. With Christmas Eve falling on the worst day possible, every title in release absorbed a groin shot.

From a pure dollars perspective, Rogue One suffered the worst but only because it had the most to lose. It fell from $22.8 million on Friday to $15 million on Saturday. That’s a 34% drop, which is solid for reasons we’ll explore next paragraph. Rogue One will easily win the weekend when estimates are announced – and remember that almost everything through the holidays is an estimate. A lot of the facts that turn estimates into actuals are off the entirety of the holiday season.

Sing is the hit of Christmas week. It grossed $13.1 million on Friday and fell “only” 40% on Saturday to $7.9 million. What you should draw from this is that Rogue One’s hold was better despite the fact that it was on a larger scale. Ostensibly, Sing should have done better than Rogue One in terms of Christmas Eve decline.

Tim noted yesterday that animated/family movies demonstrate novel behavior over the holidays, so that’s probably what happened. There’s a chance that Sing is front-loaded, though. We’ll follow that over the next nine days, although it’s hard to tell during the Twelve Days of Box Office. By the way, I actually have the weekend estimate for Sing. It’s $33.2 million, indicating that Universal expects $12.1 for Sing on Sunday. That spike/dip/spike aptly reflects how Christmas Eve hurts the box office of major releases. It’s a box office roller coaster of peaks and valleys.

The other new releases from Wednesday, Passengers and Assassin’s Creed, continue to disappoint. Passengers earned $2.9 million on Christmas Eve, a fall of 36%. For a film starring arguably the hottest male AND female leads in Hollywood right now, its performance is stunningly poor. It’s at $14.7 million after four days.

Meanwhile, Assassin’s Creed has reported weekend box office of $10.3 million. We can split that into $3.7 million on Friday, a drop of 40% to $2.2 million on Christmas Eve, and an estimate of $4.4 million today. It also suffered the further indignity of falling to fifth place over the weekend as Why Him?, a film that I’d honestly blocked out of my mind due to the war crime that is the marketing campaign, beat it. Why Him? fell from $3.9 million on Friday to $1.9 million on Saturday, which isn’t surprising for the sole new release.

One other film entered the marketplace yesterday. The latest Denzel Washington Oscar bait, Fences, started in 1,547 locations yesterday, earning an estimated $750,000 in the process. It’ll gain another 650 theaters today, which is an excellent indicator of how weird this calendar configuration is and how studio execs have no firm grasp on how to handle it.

Have a lovely holiday, my friends. Thank you for your continued patronage of BOP over the years.