As expected, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” had a huge weekend at the box office, with an estimated $155 million domestically, according to Variety.
That’s the second-best opening in the month of December, behind last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($247.9 million), the third-best opening of 2016, behind “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” ($166 million) and “Captain America: Civil War” ($179.1 million), and the 12th-best opening of all time, beating out 2012’s “The Hunger Games” ($152.5 million).
The movie earned $290.5 million globally.
The first standalone “Star Wars” movie jumped off to a strong start, earning $29 million in its Thursday-night preview screenings, the largest of the year. That added to the film’s $71 million opening Friday. “Rogue One” then earned $46.25 million on Saturday, only a 35% drop from its Friday take, showing that the arctic blast hitting the east coast this weekend didn’t stop fans from going to the theaters. The drop was also better than the 42.7% drop in sales “The Force Awakens” had last year.
Now repeat viewings and word of mouth are likely to fuel the movie for the rest of the year, which has very little competition in front of it.
Having destroyed the only other wide-release opening alongside it this weekend, the Will Smith drama “Collateral Beauty,” which earned an estimated $7 million (the worst wide opening of Smith’s career), “Rogue One” is also unlikely to be tested by the sci-fi love story “Passengers,” starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence and opening Wednesday.
For a second consecutive year Disney will dominate the Christmas season at the multiplex.
And 2016 is likely to end with three Disney properties leading the domestic box office: “Rogue One” (Lucasfilm) will probably be No. 1 before the year is out, leaving “Finding Dory” (Pixar) in second and “Captain America: Civil War” (Marvel) in third.