Rogue One Ices Disney’s Record Year

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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.

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.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

charitysplace 9 months ago
I thought Rogue One was bland, with generic characters.

My favorite movie this year by far was Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them. Nothing else even came close.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

Disney sure is making a huge amount of money, with Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars all under their control; and their own movies are definitely doing very well too (Zootopia and Jungle Book can attest to that).

I think 2017 is going to be a great year for Disney as well, with them releasing Beauty and the Beast, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Cars 3, Thor 3, Coco and Star Wars VIII all coming out this year. It's going to be a great year for Disney, and that's great because almost all of their movies are family friendly.