Sing — think talking animals meet American Idol — opened Wednesday to a pleasing estimated $11 million from 4,022 theaters for a possible six-day launch of $80 million, although box-office observers caution it is still very early in terms of projections. (With Dec. 25 falling on Sunday this year, Monday is an official holiday, hence the six-day estimates.) Sing boasts solid reviews and better yet, nabbed an A CinemaScore.
Disney and Lucasfilm’s Rogue One easily stayed at No. 1 on Wednesday despite the new competition, earning an estimated $15 million from 4,157 theaters to shoot past the $200 million mark domestically and finish the day with an estimated $205 million in less than a week of play. Early projections suggest Rogue One will gross $90 million-plus over the six-day holiday corridor, if not $100 million.
Passengers, the sci-fi space romance starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, debuted Wednesday to $4.1 million from 3,478 locations. Sony insiders are predicting a six-day launch of $30 million to $40 million, but it could come in closer to $25 million. The movie cost $110 million to $120 million to make after tax incentives and rebates.
Video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed, starring Michael Fassbender, beat Passengers on Wednesday with $4.6 million from 2,902 locations. The male-fueled New Regency and Fox title is expected to be front-loaded, however, for a debut of $20 million for the six days. Assassin’s Creed cost a net $125 million to make and earned $1.4 million Tuesday night.
Assassin’s Creed has garnered even worse reviews than Passengers, although it did slightly better than Passengers in terms of its CinemaScore (B+ versus a B).
The year-end holiday stretch is the most crowded corridor at the box office, between wide players and awards contenders. Films rolling during this time can rack up strong multiples between Christmas Day and the end of New Year’s weekend since kids are out of school and many adults are off from work, and Passengers in particular is counting on spiking once presents are unwrapped.
Launching in seven theaters in New York, Los Angeles and Boston on Wednesday was CBS Films and Lionsgate’s Boston marathon bombing drama Patriots Day, directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg. The movie earned $64,644 for a location average of $9,235, the best of the day, after doing huge business in Boston and grabbing an A CinemaScore.
Like Patriots Day, a slew of other awards contenders are opening in limited runs, including A Monster Calls, Martin Scorsese’s Silence, Julieta, Toni Erdmann, Paterson, Ben Affleck’s Live by Night, Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures and 20th Century Women.
Dec. 21, 1:20 p.m.: Updated with Wednesday estimates.
Dec. 22, 7:45 a.m.: Updated with Wednesday numbers.