‘Rogue One’ tops box of­fice for third straight week­end

Malta Independent - - ENTERTAINMENT -

The new year at the box of­fice is start­ing where 2016 left off: with Dis­ney on top.

The "Star Wars" spinoff "Rogue One" led the box of­fice for the third straight week, tak­ing in an es­ti­mated $64.3 mil­lion over the four-day New Year's week­end, ac­cord­ing to stu­dio es­ti­mates Mon­day.

The suc­cess of Gareth Ed­wards' "Rogue One" has only fur­ther ce­mented a record year for the Walt Dis­ney Co., which ran up $2.7 bil­lion in do­mes­tic ticket sales in 2016 and ac­counted for more than 25 per­cent of the mar­ket.

"Rogue One," which has now grossed about $440 mil­lion in North Amer­ica and nearly $800 mil­lion glob­ally, cur­rently slots in as the year's No. 2 movie, fol­low­ing "Find­ing Dory" (also from Dis­ney). The stu­dio notched four of the five top films and has, in a year marked by fran­chise strug­gles, made a rou­tine of churn­ing out well-re­viewed, hugely prof­itable block­busters.

The week­end pushed the in­dus­try to $11.4 bil­lion in ticket sales in 2016, top­ping the $11.1 bil­lion record set in 2015. The record rev­enue, pro­pelled pri­mar­ily by the Dis­ney jug­ger­naut, masks un­de­ni­able chal­lenges in the busi­ness. At­ten­dance was largely flat. Stream­ing and tele­vi­sion con­tinue to grow as com­peti­tors. Some glar­ing fail­ures ("Sui­cide Squad") and flops ("In­de­pen­dence Day: Resur­gence") showed con­sid­er­able fran­chise fa­tigue with au­di­ences. And sev­eral stu­dios (Paramount, Sony) en­dured much leaner years.

But Hol­ly­wood's 2017 is start­ing out with brisk busi­ness. In its sec­ond week of re­lease, the an­i­mated "Sing," from Univer­sal Pic­tures and Il­lu­mi­na­tion En­ter­tain­ment, again came in sec­ond with $56.4 mil­lion.

The poorly re­viewed sci­encefic­tion ro­mance "Pas­sen­gers," star­ring Jen­nifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, came in third with $20.7 mil­lion over the four-day week­end. It's made $61.4 mil­lion thus far, a some­what dis­ap­point­ing to­tal for a film that cost north of $100 mil­lion to make. Another Dis­ney ti­tle, "Moana," came in fourth with $14.3 mil­lion in its sixth week­end.

A pair of Os­car con­tenders is also pack­ing the­aters. De­spite play­ing in more limited re­lease, Damien Chazelle's Los An­ge­les mu­si­cal "La La Land" grossed $12.3 mil­lion over the four-day week­end. The lead Golden Globe nom­i­nee has grossed $37 mil­lion and yet is play­ing in only 750 the­aters. (Wider re­leases play in 3,000-plus the­aters.) It's the year's top limited re­lease ti­tle.

Den­zel Wash­ing­ton's ac­claimed Au­gust Wil­son adap­tion, "Fences," also took in $12.7 mil­lion over the hol­i­day week­end. Since open­ing wide on Christ­mas, the Paramount re­lease has made $32.4 mil­lion, mak­ing it one of the more lu­cra­tive stageto-screen adap­ta­tions in re­cent years.

De­but­ing in a hand­ful of the­aters was Mike Mills' fam­ily drama "20th Cen­tury Women," star­ring An­nette Ben­ing, and Jim Jar­musch's po­etic "Pater­son," with Adam Driver. Each drew strong per-the­ater av­er­ages play­ing on four screens. They joined a large con­tin­gent of films in limited re­lease mak­ing awards-qual­i­fy­ing bows be­fore ex­pand­ing in Jan­uary. Among them: Martin Scors­ese's Chris­tian epic "Si­lence," the grief-filled fan­tasy "A Mon­ster Calls," Peter Berg's Bos­ton Marathon drama "Pa­triot's Day," Ben Af­fleck's crime thriller "Live By Night," and the 1960s NASA tale "Hid­den Fig­ures" (which earned $1.1 mil­lion over the week­end in 25 the­aters).

In the com­ing weeks, those films will try to kick start the box of­fice of 2017. On tap in the new year are new in­stall­ments from "Guardians of the Galaxy," ''The Fast and the Fu­ri­ous," ''Alien" and, of course, "Star Wars" -- a new (and yet very fa­mil­iar) fleet of block­busters that will hope to drive the in­dus­try to even higher rev­enue records.

Es­ti­mated ticket sales for Fri­day through Mon­day at U.S. and Cana­dian the­aters, ac­cord­ing to comS­core. Where avail­able, the lat­est in­ter­na­tional num­bers for Fri­day through Sun­day are also in­cluded. Fi­nal do­mes­tic fig­ures will be re­leased Tues­day. 1. "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," $64.3 mil­lion ($45.8 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional). 2. "Sing," $56.4 mil­lion ($24.5 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional). 3. "Pas­sen­gers," $20.7 mil­lion ($21.7 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional). 4. "Moana," $14.3 mil­lion ($21.3 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional). 5. "Why Him?" $13 mil­lion ($10.1 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional). 6. "Fences," $12.7 mil­lion. 7. "La La Land," $12.3 mil­lion ($6 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional). 8. "As­sas­sin's Creed," $10.9 mil­lion ($22 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional). 9. "Manch­ester by the Sea," $5.5 mil­lion. 10. "Fan­tas­tic Beasts and Where to Find Them," $5.4 mil­lion ($8.8 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional).

Es­ti­mated ticket sales for Fri­day through Mon­day at in­ter­na­tional the­aters (ex­clud­ing the U.S. and Canada), ac­cord­ing to comS­core: 1. "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," $45.8 mil­lion. 2. "Sing," $24.5 mil­lion. 3. "The Great Wall," $24.4 mil­lion. 4. "As­sas­sin's Creed," $22 mil­lion. 5. "Pas­sen­gers," $21.7 mil­lion. 6. "Moana," $21.3 mil­lion. 7. "Some Like it Hot," $20.7 mil­lion. 8. "Master," $11.2 mil­lion. 9. "See You To­mor­row," $10.3 mil­lion. 10. "Why Him?" $10.1 mil­lion.

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