The 12 Days of Box Office: Day 4

By David Mumpower

December 26, 2016


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It’s beginning to look a lot like the end of Christmas. While the calendar may say December 26th, plenty of yuletide remains for studio execs as we still have a week more of the Twelve Days of Box Office.

What have we learned thus far? People like Star Wars and singing animated characters.

Okay, this hasn’t been the most surprising of box office years, and the holiday season has behaved similarly. Still, there’s a lot to parse through, so let’s get started with Christmas weekend holiday box office analysis.

Finishing in first place at the box office, in Christmas merchandise sales, and in your hearts is Star Wars. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the latest offering in the 40-year-old franchise (oh yeah, you’re *old*), absolutely eviscerated the competition this weekend just as it did the weekend before. The Rogue One weekend estimate is $64.4 million, raising its domestic total to $286.4 million.

In terms of weekend behavior, Rogue One started the weekend with $22.8 million, fell 33% on Christmas Eve to $15.3 million due to the anti-holiday, and then jumped 71% to $26.3 million yesterday. Since we’re dealing with four-day estimates, too, Disney also projects $31.7 million today, which would bring its total domestic take to $318.1 million. Assuming that’s accurate, after only ten days in theaters, it’s already the ninth largest North American release of 2016, and it should soar to number three in a matter of days.


In terms of weekend drop, it fell 58%, which is quite respectable for a $155.1 million opener. Holiday inflation didn’t artificially hold it up, either. If anything, Saturday hurt more than helped. Disney rolled the dice a bit with a standalone Star Wars story, and they have to be pleased with the results. Globally, it’s at $555.5 million (I swear) against a $200 million budget. That $4 billion acquisition of Lucasfilm should be studied in college business classes for decades to come.

Out of the four “new” releases over the past few days, the only true success story was Sing, the latest film from the team that brought Minions into your lives. A cheap excuse to animate songs like Baby Got Back as anthropomorphic animal karaoke, Sing hit all the right notes with consumers from day one on. It started with $20.6 million on its first two weekdays and has now grossed $35.3 million over the weekend.

Universal is also projecting $20.8 million today, which would give the film a whopping $76.7 million after six days in theaters. With an A Cinemascore, there’s plenty of cause for optimism about legs/return business. Sing is also 72% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, which is almost as good as the other three major new releases in combination. It…wasn’t a good week for Hollywood.

Illumination Entertainment is extraordinarily good at delivering populist films with low production costs, and this one is no exception, costing only $75 million. Ignoring ancillary merchandising revenue, it’ll be in the black by the start of 2017. It’s also earned $17.3 million internationally, which does make me wonder how Sir Mix-a-Lot lyrics translate in Taiwanese.

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