It was a good Christmas to be a rebel spy or a singing animal. The box office over the holiday weekend was absolutely dominated by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which scored an estimated $96.1 million for the Friday to Monday frame. Lucasfilm’s first-ever Star Wars spinoff film lorded over pretty much all the newcomers at the box office for a very strong second week hold, much in the vein of how Star Wars: The Force Awakens showed excellent staying power in the weeks following its initial launch. Of course, the weekend overall is down versus last year as Rogue One is no Force Awakens, but the film has amassed over $500 million worldwide including $317 million domestic, so while it’s not Force Awakens numbers, it’s certainly impressive all the same.
The other film that families seemed to flock to over the holiday was Illumination Entertainment’s Sing, a music-centric animated feature from the studio that launched the Despicable Me and Minions franchises. Sing came in at the number 2 slot for the weekend, pulling in a solid $56.1 million for the Friday to Monday stretch, putting its six-day debut at a swell $76.1 million. Those are great numbers for a film opening during the holidays opposite Star Wars, and while Illumination had its first non-Despicable Me/Minions mega-hit with this summer’s The Secret Life of Pets (currently the third highest grossing film of the year), Sing solidifies Illumination’s status as a formidable animation player—at least as far as the box office is concerned.
Things were less sunny for other new releases. Despite the starpower of Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, Passengers underwhelmed with a four-day weekend total of $23.1 million—well below Sony’s hopes of a total in the range of $30 million to $40 million. The expensive sci-fi pic suffered some poor reviews which may have detracted moviegoers, but it was always gonna be a tough battle with Rogue One dominating multiplexes.
The comedy Why Him? grossed just $16.7 million over the four-day frame, but the biggest bomb of the holiday was the Michael Fassbender-fronted video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed, which grossed only $16.7 million. That’s well below what New Regency and Fox were hoping, as the $125 million film was intended to launch a franchise. It’s still a bit puzzling why the studios would opt to open such an action-heavy film a week after Rogue One hit theaters, but here we are.
Monday is still technically an observed holiday so these numbers could soar even higher for Rogue One and Sing in particular, or perhaps folks may finally get around to seeing Passengers.