December 24, 2016

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: The Force Stays With “Rogue One,” “Sing” Tuneful, “Passengers” & “Assassin’s Creed” Lag Behind


We’re now officially in the Christmas-to-New-Year’s holiday box office period, and the general form is going to follow 2015 fairly closely, with a Star Wars installment clearly in the lead (albeit much less lucratively than last year’s), a family vehicle in 2d place, and an assortment of also-rans behind them.

Comparisons between ROGUE ONE (Lucasfilm/Disney) and last year’s The Force Awakens are somewhat dicey because by this time in 2015, Force Awakens had already played on Christmas Eve (historically a down day) and Christmas Day (historically huge).  Based on early numbers at Deadline, though, Rogue earned $23.1M on Friday, 53% behind the 8th day for Force Awakens.  Since that was Christmas Day for Force Awakens, Rogue will recover some ground on Sunday, and it should have a 3-day weekend around $70M, with $105M by Monday, which would give it a $328M total.  That could bring it to around $450M by January 2, and a $550M ultimate US total, which would be 41% behind the $936.7M of Force Awakens, $119M ahead of the original release of The Phantom Menace (although that was in 1999 dollars), and $73.4M behind The Avengers.  That’s a tremendous result for a spin-off, and the next standalone chapter should only do better, since it will feature young Han Solo rather than a largely unknown cast of characters.

It’s also a happy holiday for SING (Illumination/Universal), which had a $13.2M Friday, and has earned $33.8M since its Wednesday opening.  Family movies tend to stay relatively low on Christmas Day, so Sing may have a 3-day weekend of only $33M, but it’s poised for a giant bounce on Monday for a $58M 4-day weekend.  It could reach $175M+ by January 2, and possibly $250M in the US before it’s done.

The drop after that is more like a plunge.  PASSENGERS (Village Roadshow/Columbia/Sony) took in $4.5M on Friday, for a $13M 3-day weekend and $19M by Monday, for a $27M total since Wednesday.  With $65M by January 2, it may not even hit $100M in the US, an awful result for a project with $200M+ in production/marketing costs and uncertain international appeal.  Combined with the recent failure of Allied, this really puts a stake in the heart of any remaining belief in “star value” outside of franchise roles.

ASSASSIN’S CREED (Regency/20th) is faring even worse in the US, with $3.7M on Friday, a likely $10M 3-day weekend and $14M over 4 days ($22M including Wed-Thurs), and perhaps $50M by January 2 and a $80M domestic total.  It also cost $200M+, but the assumption is that it will at least be bailed out by overseas action fans, even if that’s still not enough to establish the franchise it was supposed to kick off.

WHY HIM? (21 Laps/20th) had a blah $3.8M opening day that should give it $10M by Sunday, $15M by Monday, and around $40M by January 2, no sure thing to recoup its $120M in production/marketing costs.

Longer runs were led by MOANA (Disney Animation), just about even with last Friday at $3.1M.  It will be subdued on Christmas Eve and Day, but should perk up to a 4-day weekend of $11M, and could be at $210M by January 2, for a US total around $230M.  That would be above the $200.8M of Tangled, although not in a league with Frozen‘s $400.7M.

OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY (DreamWorks/Paramount) fell 35% from last Friday to $1.7M, and could be at $45M by Monday and $60M by January 2, with the possibility of reaching a decent $75M in the US.

Any hope that word of mouth was going to help the critically savaged COLLATERAL BEAUTY (New Line/Village Roadshow/RatPac/Warners) vanished with its 46% Friday-to-Friday drop to $1.3M.  It’s headed for a $16M total by Monday and perhaps $25M by January 2, a dead loss.

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (Amazon/Roadside) will face major prestige competition on Christmas Day, when Fences and La La Land join it in national release.  It held well on Friday, though, down 27% from last week to just under $1M, and it should top Hell or High Water‘s $27M to become (temporarily, at least) 2016’s highest-grossing indie during the week, with plenty of potential upside as awards season proceeds.

None of the high-profile limited releases of the week are looking particularly impressive.  PATRIOTS DAY (Lionsgate) may have a $23.5K 3-day weekend per-theatre average at 7 ($35K including Monday).  Martin Scorsese’s SILENCE (Paramount) is on track for a $28.5K 3-day average at 4 ($42K including Monday), a particularly dim number because it included celebrity Q&A shows.  A MONSTER CALLS (Focus/Universal) has no traction at all, averaging $5.5K at 4 through Sunday and $8K including Monday.  They’ll have much more competition on Sunday, when HIDDEN FIGURES (20th), LIVE BY NIGHT (Warners), 20th CENTURY WOMEN (A24) and TONI ERDMAN (Sony Classics) begin their runs.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."