The Box Office Goes Rogue

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Did the latest Star Wars rocket to top the box office this weekend? Might as well ask if Darth Vader is a mouth breather.

Yes, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story did indeed punch that ol’ hyperspace button straight to No. 1 this weekend, netting around $155 million along the way. That translates into enough Imperial credits to pay off Han Solo’s debt to Jabba and take Chewy and the fam to a nice dinner on Coruscant. (Tipping’s pretty expensive there, from what I hear.)

Rogue One made serious bank, but it didn’t break it. Believe it or not, Rogue One is only the third biggest opening of the year, trailing the $179.1 million that Captain America: Civil War made in its opening frame, and the $166 million that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice earned during its first weekend way back in March.

Still, let’s not quibble with success. That $155 million makes Rogue One the year’s 15th biggest movie in just three days. Let’s put it another way: of the $208.5 million people spent at the box office this week, more than three-quarters went to Rogue One.

Add in the $135.5 million it made overseas, and you have something of a hit on your hands.

Collateral Beauty, the weekend’s other major new release, suffered a bit of collateral damage from the Star Wars onslaught. The Will Smith vehicle finished fourth behind both No. 2 Moana ($11.7 million) and No. 3 Office Christmas Party ($8.5 million), collecting a not-so-pretty $7 million. That’s about the lowest opening of Smith’s career.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them wrapped up the Top Five with a $5 million weekend. But underneath those box office heavyweights, we’re seeing another competition continue to take shape—the battle for awards season bling.

Oscar hopefuls dominated the sixth-through-10th slots. Casey Affleck’s grim, bleakly humorous drama Manchester by the Sea proved it could pull audiences in, earning $4.2 million as it expanded to about 1,200 theaters. Charming musical La La Land, still just playing in 200 venues, glommed on to seventh place with $4 million even. Two very different Amy Adams movies, the sci-fi thinker Arrival and the brutal Nocturnal Animals, finished eighth and 10th respectively, bracketing ninth place Doctor Strange. Down the list you’ll see Hacksaw Ridge (No. 13), Jackie (No. 15), Moonlight (No. 17) and Loving (No. 19) all pushing for a little moola to go along with their critical acclaim.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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