Weekend Box Office: 'Rogue One' Targeting $110M-Plus Christmas; 'Sing' Could Hit $75M
Elsewhere, 'Passengers' pulls ahead of 'Assassin's Creed,' although both films are disappointing so far; the R-rated comedy 'Why Him?' enters the holiday fray with a $3.9 million Friday.
Interplanetary rebels and singing animals are dominating the Christmas box office.
Lucasfilm and Disney's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is showing strong staying power in its second weekend for a projected Friday-Monday gross of more than $110 million from 4,157 theaters, putting its domestic tally north of $300 through Monday, an official holiday. (On Thursday, the stand-alone Star Wars movie jumped the $400 million mark globally.) Rogue One's estimated Friday haul was $22.8 million.
Among the three new films opening mid-week on Dec. 21, Illumination and Universal's animated holiday offering Sing is the clear winner. The $75 million family film took in $13.1 million from 4,022 theaters on Friday for a strong four-day weekend of about $55 million and a six-day bow of about $75 million.
Fox opened the R-rated comedy Why Him?, starring Bryan Cranston and James Franco on Friday. The movie is performing in line with expectations, checking in in fourth place for the day with an estimated $3.9 million and four-day start of $14 million-$15 million from 2,970 theaters.
Passengers, the sci-fi space romance starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, that opened alongside Sing and Assassin's Creed on Wednesday, is doing subdued business so far. The Sony film collected $.4.5 million on Friday from 3,478 runs for a projected four-day total of $19 million-$22 million and a six-day launch of $25 million-$30 million. Sony had hoped for a $30 million-$40 million start. Passengers cost $110 million to $120 million to make after tax incentives and rebates.
Video game adaptation Assassin's Creed, starring Michael Fassbender, is in far worse shape. The movie earned $3.7 million Friday from 2,970 locations for a four-day gross of about $13 million and a six-day opening in in the $20 million range. New Regency financed the $125 million movie, which Fox is releasing.
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). Both films are disappointing so far.
Meanwhile, Disney's animated Moana, in its fifth weekend, ranked sixth for the day, attracting another $2.8 million as its domestica gross rose to $175.8 million.
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 picking up once presents are unwrapped.
On Christmas Day, both Denzel Washinton's Fences and La La Land expand nationwide, while a slew of other awards contenders are opening in limited runs, including Patriot's Day, 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.
The musical La La Land, from LIonsgate, grossed nearly $1 million from 205 locations on Friday, ranking tenth for the day, as it prepares to expand to 733 locations on Christmas Day.
On Friday, Peter Berg's Patriot's Day, from CBS Films and Lionsgate, collected $52,5777 from just seven screens, where it bowed Wednesday in New York, Los Angeles and Boston, and it also picked up an A Cinemascore.
Dec. 23, 12:10 p.m. Updated with Friday and weekend estimates.
Dec. 24, 7:55 a.m. Updated with the latest Friday and weekend estimates.