'Rogue One' dom­i­nat­ing hol­i­day box of­fice, 'Sing' leads new­com­ers

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" re­mains pow­er­ful at the US hol­i­day box of­fice with a dom­i­nant $15 mil­lion on Christ­mas Eve at 4,157 sites, and pro­jec­tions of a $120 mil­lion-plus haul over the six-day Dec 21-26 pe­riod. Il­lu­mi­na­tion Uni­ver­sal's an­i­mated com­edy "Sing" eas­ily led the rest of the pack on Christ­mas Eve with a solid $7.9 mil­lion at 4,022 lo­ca­tions, fol­lowed by Sony's "Pas­sen­gers" with $2.9 mil­lion, Fox's "As­sas­sin's Creed" with $2.2 mil­lion, and Fox's "Why Him?," which tied with Dis­ney's "Moana" at $1.8 mil­lion. Para­mount launched Den­zel Wash­ing­ton-Vi­ola Davis' "Fences" with $750,000 at 1,547 sites in Satur­day night show­ings and plans to ex­pand the drama to about 2,200 lo­ca­tions Sun­day.

Over­all moviego­ing slowed on Christ­mas Eve, as ex­pected, with "Rogue One" fall­ing about 33% from Fri­day and "Sing" de­clin­ing about 40%. Busi­ness should re­bound sharply on Christ­mas Day on Sun­day and on Mon­day, an of­fi­cial hol­i­day for many. Dis­neyLu­cas­film's "Rogue One" wrapped busi­ness on Christ­mas Eve with about $260 mil­lion do­mes­ti­cally in its first nine days and is pro­jected to fin­ish the hol­i­day on Mon­day with about $327 mil­lion. That will be enough to pull it past "Sui­cide Squad" as the eighth­high­est do­mes­tic grosser of the year.

'Sing'

Felic­ity Jones stars as Jyn Erso, a rebel at­tempt­ing to steal the plans for the Death Star, in a story set im­me­di­ately be­fore the events in the orig­i­nal "Star Wars." Diego Luna, Ben Men­del­sohn, Don­nie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, and For­est Whitaker also star. "Rogue One," the eighth "Star Wars" movie, is run­ning about 42% be­hind the pace of "Star Wars: The Force Awak­ens," which opened a year ago and grossed a still-stun­ning $571 mil­lion in its first 11 days on its way to a record $936.6 mil­lion do­mes­tic to­tal.

"Sing" is pro­jected to come in sec­ond with about $71.5 mil­lion over the six days-in line with fore­casts-fol­lowed by the Jen­nifer Lawrence-Chris Pratt sci-fier "Pas­sen­gers" at about $29 mil­lion to $30 mil­lion, and video game adap­ta­tion "As­sas­sin's Creed" at $22.6 mil­lion. "Sing," which has a $75 mil­lion bud­get, fol­lows a group of an­i­mals per­form­ing in an "Amer­i­can Idol"-style con­test. The voice cast in­cludes Matthew McConaughey, Reese Wither­spoon, Seth MacFar­lane, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, John C. Reilly, Taron Eger­ton, and Tori Kelly.

"Pas­sen­gers" car­ries a $110 mil­lion price tag with fi­nanc­ing from Vil­lage Road­show, LS­tar Cap­i­tal, and Wanda Pic­tures. It's per­form­ing at the low end of ex­pec­ta­tions amid an un­en­thu­si­as­tic crit­i­cal re­cep­tion, earn­ing 32% rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes. "As­sas­sin's Creed," which has a bud­get of $120 mil­lion and was fi­nanced by New Re­gency, is gen­er­at­ing even less sup­port from crit­ics, with a 19% rat­ing on Rot­ten Toma­toes. Michael Fass­ben­der stars as a ca­reer crim­i­nal sent back to the Span­ish In­qui­si­tion in the movie, based on the pop­u­lar Ubisoft video game fran­chise. Fox also re­ported Sun­day that "As­sas­sin's Creed" has grossed $13.3 mil­lion in­ter­na­tion­ally from 2,878 screens in 22 mar­kets, with strong hol­i­day launches from France with $5.1 mil­lion and from Spain with $2 mil­lion for a first-place fin­ish. In­done­sia, Malaysia, and Thai­land also saw first-place open­ings.

'La La Land'

James Franco's ro­man­tic com­edy "Why Him?," which opened Fri­day, is fore­cast to fin­ish the four-day week­end with about $14.4 mil­lion at 2,917 lo­ca­tions. That's about in line with re­cent ex­pec­ta­tions for the film, in which Franco plays a free­wheel­ing Sil­i­con Val­ley ty­coon at­tempt­ing to in­gra­ti­ate him­self to his girl­friend's hor­ri­fied fa­ther, por­trayed by Bryan Cranston. "Why Him?" has a $38 mil­lion bud­get and also stars Zoey Deutch as the girl­friend and Me­gan Mul­lally as her mother. It ap­pears to be per­form­ing sim­i­larly to Para­mount's "Of­fice Christ­mas Party," which took in $974,000 on Christ­mas Eve, and will wind up the week­end with about $44 mil­lion in three weeks.

Dis­ney's an­i­mated film "Moana," now in its fifth week­end, re­mains a de­cent draw as one of five ti­tles to earn more than $1 mil­lion on Christ­mas Eve. The movie should wind up the hol­i­day week­end with more than $184 mil­lion. Lios­ngate's awards con­tender "La La Land" reeled in an es­ti­mated $815,000 at 205 lo­ca­tions on Christ­mas Eve for $9.7 mil­lion af­ter 16 days of lim­ited re­lease. The ro­man­tic com­edy-drama, star­ring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, ex­pands to 734 lo­ca­tions Sun­day.

Martin Scors­ese's his­tor­i­cal drama "Si­lence" is pro­jected to fin­ish the four days with $170,000 at four the­aters. The film stars Liam Nee­son, An­drew Garfield, and Adam Driver as 17th cen­tury priests who face bru­tal per­se­cu­tion in Ja­pan. "Pa­tri­ots Day," from CBS Films and Lion­s­gate, took in $34,336 on Christ­mas Eve from seven lo­ca­tions and is pro­jected to wind up the six­day hol­i­day break with about $280,000. The Bos­ton Marathon bomb­ing movie is di­rected by Peter Berg and stars Mark Wahlberg. — Reuters

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