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Weekend Wrap-Up

Rogue One Powers Up the Holiday Box Office

By John Hamann

December 18, 2016

Sarcasm-bot 3000.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them gets trampled by Rogue One and Moana, but is also in its fifth weekend of release. The Warner Bros. blockbuster pulled in another $5 million and dropped 52% compared to last weekend's $10.4 million take. The domestic total for the J.K. Rowling piece has now reached $207.7 million, but the really good news is that this one has eclipsed the half-billion mark overseas.

Manchester by the Sea is sixth, continuing a strong awards push as the film is now out to 1,208 venues. After earning $3.2 million from 366 venues last weekend, the Casey Affleck film found $4.2 million this weekend from the higher venue count. That's an improvement of 31% compared to last weekend, and brings the domestic total up to $14 million.

La La Land, despite being out to only 200 theaters, finishes a strong seventh. After a surprise 15th place finish last weekend from only five venues, Lionsgate expands the venue count this weekend. La La Land earned $4 million, garnering a venue average of $20,100. Despite the low venue counts, La La Land has already pulled in a significant $5.3 million, and will be the movie to see for Oscar fans over the holiday season. I am often quite critical of Lionsgate's release patterns, but in this case, to date they have handled La La Land perfectly, setting it up for a strong push toward Best Picture.

Arrival is eighth, but with another sci-fi flick opening and the Amy Adams film losing 1,000+ screens, the news is not good for this one. Arrival earned $2.8 million in its sixth weekend and declined a hurtful 50%, ending a streak of solid holds that left it in the top five for five consecutive weekends. The total for this $47 million film has reached $86.5 million domestically, and it has reached the $50 million mark overseas.

Ninth is Doctor Strange, as one Disney blockbuster is shown the door in favor of the next Disney blockbuster. Doctor Strange earned $2 million and fell 55%. The $165 million Marvel product has proved successful - it has earned $226.1 million domestically, and more than $425 million overseas.




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Tenth is Nocturnal Animals, following last weekend's surprise top ten appearance. After earning $3.2 million, this small release earned another $1.4 million this weekend, dropping 56%. The Focus release has now earned $8.8 million domestically and more than $10 million overseas.

Overall, the box office is strong thanks to Rogue One, but comparisons are tough as The Force Awakens led a record-breaking top 12 to $305 million (the second weekend of Force Awakens owns the second spot on that chart with $281 million). This weekend's result falls $100 million short of last year, but is still a positive result, as the top 12 earned $204.1 million, which makes the weekend the fourth biggest December weekend ever.

Over the next week, five more films go wide before Christmas Day, with 20th Century Fox leading the way. Fox releases Assassin's Creed on Wednesday the 21st and the comedy Why Him on the 23rd. Both of these films could be successful over the holidays, but the lack of reviews to date for Assassin's Creed makes me question the approach. Other releases include Denzel Washington's Fences, a film that could earn him another Oscar nomination, Sony's Passengers, which has had reviews released and is now a film I no longer what to see, and I have to wonder if $110 million was a good investment for this one. Lastly, Universal opens the animated Sing, the latest from Illumination Entertainment, which could be huge for the studio, as it carries a low production cost of $75 million.

That's all for me, folks. David Mumpower will bring you the 12 Days of Box Office over the Christmas season, and I will be back in 2017.


Top Ten for Weekend of December 16-18, 2016
Rank
Film
Distributor
Estimated Gross (millions)
Weekly Change
Running Total (millions)
1 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Walt Disney 155.0 New 155.0
2 Moana Walt Disney 11.7 -37% 161.9
3 Office Christmas Party Paramount 8.5 -50% 31.5
4 Collateral Beauty Warner Bros. 7.0 New 7.0
5 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Warner Bros. 5.0 -52% 207.7
6 Manchester by the Sea Roadside Attractions 4.2 +31% 14.0
7 La La Land Lionsgate 4.0 +356% 5.3
8 Arrival Paramount 2.8 -50% 86.5
9 Doctor Strange Walt Disney 2.0 -55% 226.1
10 Nocturnal Animals Focus 1.4 -57% 8.8
11 Trolls 20th Century Fox 1.3 -57% 147.4
12 Allied Paramount 1.2 -69% 38.5

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