Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

December 17, 2016

Donnie Yen should be in every movie, really.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The first film with the Star Wars label that’s not part of the core films (and likely determines the box office direction of the next four Decembers) starts off with a strong $71 million on Friday, with $29 million of that coming on Thursday night. This tells us one thing right away: The Force Awakens this is not. Still, the Friday figure alone would be good enough for the seventh largest opening in December history, so we’re still headed for some unprecedented territory, just not on the level of what The Force Awakens did a year ago.

In last year's analysis, we tossed out comparison weekends for some of the bigger films of all time, and you can see those in the link. The Force Awakens defied all logic for what a December movie is supposed to do on opening weekend, in both general numbers and in weekend multiplier. Removing the Thursday night number from the equation, The Force Awakens managed a 3.0 multiplier on the weekend. That’s not supposed to happen when the numbers are that big, and especially in December. It also managed to take complete advantage of the holiday box office money train and turned that opening weekend into $650 million in the last 14 days of 2015.

Anyway, since The Force Awakens is possibly the best and even only good comparison for where Rogue One goes this weekend, I’m expecting a similar performance over Saturday and Sunday. The fact that it’s not a “true” Star Wars movie is the primary thing accounting for the difference in earnings, but there’s a chance that it can earn some of that back during the holiday weeks, which still makes this an interesting story to watch. Using an actual Friday amount of $42 million and dialing back the weekend multiplier a tad, I think you’re looking at a weekend of $150.8 million for Rogue One. And now we all sit back and wait for the sequel.


Collateral Beauty

Unlike last year when Sisters opened against The Force Awakens and earned $4.9 million on Friday and $13.9 million for the weekend, one time King of the Box Office Will Smith crashes with Collateral Beauty, earning just $2.4 million on Friday. It’s looking at under $7 million for the weekend at best and is likely to get lost in between the Christmas releases, Rogue One, and the holdovers that are actually making money.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Three-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 150.8
2 Moana 13.4
3 Office Christmas Party 7.5
4 Collateral Beauty 6.9
5 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 5.0
6 La La Land 4.4
7 Manchester By the Sea 4.2
8 Arrival 2.8
9 Doctor Strange 2.1
10 Nocturnal Animals 1.2



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