It comes as no real shock that Rogue One continues to dominate the holiday season box office. With a midweek boost in response to the recent passing of Carrie Fisher, the Star Wars Expanded Universe film has racked up another $153 million at the domestic box office (its total worldwide take is nearing $700 million and it should handily pass that mark before the end of the New Year’s weekend.
The only other entry in the field even in the same ballpark is Sing, with $103 million over the past week. Sing has only been out for nine days and has brought $184 million in to the house that the Minions built. That does put it just shy of Illumination Entertainment’s Secret Life of Pets‘ first week’s take, but by less than a million. It will take until the end of the first full week of January to get a sense it it will be on track to bring in anywhere near their past few entries which have all seen worldwide totals upwards of $800 million.
Then there is… the long tooth entries, and the newcomers that no-one seems to really care to see before picking them up on Blu-Ray.
The next closest entry is Disney’s animated Polynesian musical princess adventure, Moana, bringing in $26 million over the past week. Given that the film has been out since Thanksgiving, it shows the relative weakness for the rest of the current wide-release box office offerings. Unfortunately for a Walt Disney Animated Studios film, it’s only brought in $343 million worldwide, which currently looks to wind up their weakest performer since they released Bolt in 2008 (if you don’t remember it, it’s ok, I didn’t either).
The close battle between other newcomers is between 4th and 5th places with the culture-clash comedy film, Why Him? beating out the Assassin’s Creed by just shy of a million ($24.5 million to $23.5 million, respectively). With an overall production budget of $38 million, at least Why Him? should wind up ending in the black. However Assassin’s Creed continues the trend of game-to-screen adaptations being received generally poorly – the highest Rotten Tomatoes rating of game-to-screen adaptations is 2001’s Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, and Mediacritic’s highest rating was 58 with 1995’s Mortal Kombat. With a pre-marketing production budget of $125 million, unless the international market swings in to save the day like it did with Warcraft, there’ll be nothing but red ink flowing back at Regency and Ubisoft.
Denzel Washington’s screen adaptation of his Broadway revival of Fences has performed exceptionally strongly, bringing in $20 million in it’s first week of wide release. The wildly overrated La La Land (one would think that many critics had never seen a musical before), rounds out the top 7 with a weekly take of shy of $17 million.
There’s only a handful of new releases this weekend, and while two of them are strong awards-season contenders they’ve had little publicity – Paterson, starring Adam Driver as a bus driving poet (yes, really), and 20th Century Women (an ensemble dramedy set in the 70’s ). Neither should really move the dial on the box office results. I expect Moana to drop down a few spots, but the rest remaining relatively unchanged.