Perhaps Obi-Wan Kenobi had something to do with Disney’s record-setting year. Perhaps, unbeknownst to us, the old Jedi stood at the ticket booth as we moviegoers plunked down our money and gestured to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
“This is the movie you’re looking for,” he’d say in that calming voice of his. “You can go and buy some popcorn now. Move along.”
For the third straight weekend, Rogue One wound up on top of the box office charts, its victory coming as easily as shooting womp rats back home. It pocketed an estimated $49.5 million over the three-day weekend—an amount for some that would be practically unimaginable. But if we know anything about the Star Wars franchise, it can imagine quite a bit.
With its weekend take, Rogue One has now grossed $439.7 million in North America, making it the year’s second biggest movie. (Finding Dory just keeps swimming at No. 1 with $486.3 million, but Rogue One may well catch the forgetful fish before the books officially close this year.) It’s now the 13th highest-grossing movie of all time, and it’s still making money hand-over-mechanical black-gloved fist. In truth, Rogue One’s recent domination of the box office charts hasn’t been much of a battle: More like a Darth Mauling.
While we’re on the subject of utter domination, let’s just take a look at what Disney, Rogue One’s parent distributor, has done this year. The Mouse House (the Duck Domicile? The Pluto Pad?) now officially owns four of the year’s Top Five grossing movies: No. 1 Finding Dory, No. 2 Rogue One, No. 3 Captain America: Civil War and No. 5 The Jungle Book. Add in Zootopia (No. 7), Doctor Strange (No. 10) and Moana (No. 12), and Disney is home to seven of 2016’s top dozen films. All told, the studio’s earned more than $3 billion this year—an all-time record. And when Mickey’s happy, everyone’s happy. The studio’s success helped power the domestic box office to a record of its own: $11.3 billion.
Sing, finishing behind Rogue One for the second straight week, just wishes that Disney would get this walking, money-making carpet out of its way. It earned $42.8 million—more, actually, than it made the previous weekend—to finish second. Passengers took in another $16.2 million to take its second straight box office bronze medal.
Moana, Disney’s newest movie featuring an animated princess, netted about $11 million—42% more than it earned the previous weekend to sail back into the Top Five. (It finished fourth.) Meanwhile, Why Him? slid to No. 5, walling off the Oscar hopeful Fences.
Final figures update: 1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, $49.6 million; 2. Sing, $42.9 million; 3. Passengers, $16.2 million; 4. Moana, $11 million; 5. Why Him? $10 million.