'Rogue One' Blast­ing to $140 Mil­lion-Plus Open­ing Week­end

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

Dis­ney-Lucasfilm's "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" is dom­i­nat­ing the do­mes­tic box with a huge $140 mil­lion open­ing week­end com­ing into view, early es­ti­mates showed Fri­day. Dis­ney is­sued a range of $135 mil­lion to $140 mil­lion, not­ing that weather con­tin­ues to be an un­known fac­tor in some parts of the coun­try. The num­ber in­cludes $29 mil­lion in Thurs­day night busi­ness-the big­gest Thurs­day preview of the year and the sev­enth-largest of all time. The stu­dio is es­ti­mat­ing an open­ing day near $70 mil­lion, in­clud­ing the $29 mil­lion preview fig­ure.

Re­cent fore­casts had es­ti­mated this week that "Rogue One" would open to be­tween $120 mil­lion to $150 mil­lion do­mes­ti­cally this week­end at 4,157 sites. Ri­vals is­sued es­ti­mates Fri­day of as high as $160 mil­lion. Mean­while, Will Smith's drama "Col­lat­eral Beauty" is show­ing lit­tle trac­tion with early es­ti­mates of a week­end at un­der $8 mil­lion at 3,028 lo­ca­tions Re­lated Film Re­view: 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story' The film also took in $33 mil­lion in its first two days in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets and should wind up the week­end with $150 mil­lion from for­eign ter­ri­to­ries when it opens in nearly ev­ery ma­jor movie go­ing mar­ket ex­cept China and South Korea.

"Rogue One" will put up the sec­ond-largest De­cem­ber do­mes­tic open­ing in his­tory, be­hind last year's $248 mil­lion de­but of "Star Wars: Episode VII-The Force Awak­ens" on the same week­end. "The Force Awak­ens" took in an as­tound­ing $57 mil­lion in Thurs­day night pre­views. Should it hit $140 mil­lion in North Amer­ica this week­end, "Rogue One" will wind up 17th on the list of the North Amer­i­can launches of all time. "The Twi­light Saga-Break­ing Dawn Part 2" is 16th with $141 mil­lion. At $160 mil­lion, it would be 10th on list af­ter "The Dark Knight Rises," which is ninth with $160.9 mil­lion.

"Rogue One" is the eighth film in the Star Wars fran­chise but the first to step out­side the nar­ra­tive of the other seven films in a stand­alone story set shortly be­fore the events of 1977's orig­i­nal "Star Wars"-though Darth Vader, the Galac­tic Em­pire and The Death Star re­main key el­e­ments. Felic­ity Jones stars with Diego Luna, Ben Men­del­sohn, Mads Mikkelsen, Don­nie Yen, Alan Tudyk and For­est Whi­taker. Re­lated Early 'Rogue One' Re­views: What the Crit­ics Are Say­ing"Rogue One" fol­lows a group of rebel spies try­ing to steal the schemat­ics for the Em­pire's Death Star.

It's di­rected by Gareth Ed­wards ("Godzilla") from a script by Chris Weitz and Tony Gil­roy. Dis­ney is launch­ing "Rogue One" ac­com­pa­nied by enor­mous ex­pec­ta­tions, four years af­ter it ac­quired Lucasfilm from founder Ge­orge Lu­cas in October, 2012, for $4 bil­lion. "The Force Awak­ens" was an out­size suc­cess with a world­wide box of­fice gross of $2.1 bil­lion, the third-largest to­tal of all time af­ter "Avatar" and "Ti­tanic." Dis­ney is plan­ning to re­lease another three Star Wars films in­clud­ing "Episode VIII" on Dec. 15, 2017, and a Han Solo movie on May 18, 2018. Paul Der­garabe­dian, se­nior me­dia an­a­lyst with comS­core, said that the early num­bers for "Rogue One" por­tend long term playa­bil­ity into 2017 that could even­tu­ally make it the top North Amer­i­can per­former re­leased in 2016. Dis­ney's "Find­ing Dory" is the high­est do­mes­tic grosser in 2016 with $486 mil­lion. Ri­vals backed away from "Rogue One" ex­cept for Warner Bros. and New Line, which are launch­ing "Col­lat­eral Beauty." Vil­lage Road­show" is a co-fi­nancer on "Beauty," in which Smith's char­ac­ter deals with the death of his daugh­ter. Three more ma­jor ti­tles will open Dec. 21 with Uni­ver­sal-Il­lu­mi­na­tion's an­i­mated "Sing"; Sony's "Pas­sen­gers," a sci­ence-fic­tion ro­mance with Chris Pratt and Jen­nifer Lawrence; and Fox's video game adap­ta­tion "As­sas­sins Creed."

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