‘Rogue One’ Still on Track to Reach Huge $150 Million Domestic Debut

“Star Wars” prequel should easily place among top 20 all-time openings

Last Updated: December 17, 2016 @ 4:31 PM

Disney’s Lucasfilm prequel “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” made $71.1 million on Friday at the domestic box office, putting it in position to finish the weekend with up to $150 million.

Counting international estimates, the highly anticipated tentpole could earn up to $300 million globally this weekend — as it rolls out in all major territories abroad, except for China and South Korea.

So far, the new title is coming in 37 percent lower than the “Force Awakens” debut weekend, which broke records with $248 million in the U.S. and Canada at this same time last year.

The second “Star Wars” movie to come out since Disney acquired Lucasfilm stars Felicity Jones as rebellion leader Jyn Erso.

It was made for a reported $200 million (not counting marketing costs) and is playing in 4,157 theaters in the U.S. and Canada — which includes roughly 400 IMAX screens, and more than 500 Premium Large Format screens.

“Rogue One” should easily enter the ranks of the top 20 movie openings of all time. A number of $150 million would rank it 14th, just behind “The Hunger Games” and “Spider-Man 3,” and ahead of “Furious 7.”

Directed by Gareth Edwards, the “Star Wars” prequel also stars Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker.

“Rogue One” has an 84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It also has a solid A CinemaScore, given by those who graded it on opening night.

But wait, there are other new and expanding titles playing against the behemoth that is “Rogue One” this weekend:

Will Smith’s holiday drama “Collateral Beauty” made $2.4 million on Friday from 3,028 locations. Trackers and distributors at Warner Bros. had it opening to more than $12 million, but now it looks like it will end the weekend at under $10 million.

The New Line release, co-financed by Village Roadshow, was produced for $36 million and has a 14 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, though its A- CinemaScore may prove it has playability through the holidays.

“Collateral Beauty” is something of a modernized “It’s a Wonderful Life,” directed by David Frankel (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Marley & Me”). It stars Will Smith, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris, Helen Mirren and Michael Peña and revolves around a New York executive (Smith) who retreats from his life after suffering a great personal tragedy. He later seek answers from the universe on the topics of Love, Death and Time.

“La La Land” has expanded to 200 theaters in its second weekend, earning $1.4 million on Friday. Made for a $30 million (not counting marketing costs), the Lionsgate film starring a singing and dancing Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling debuted to a record-breaking $881,104 last weekend, representing the highest per-location average of all time for five theaters.

It’s expected to finish the weekend with $4.4 million for a $5.6 million cumulative total.

Writer-director Damien Chazelle’s lauded musical also features Finn Wittrock, Sandra Rosko and John Legend. It has a 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and scooped up the most Golden Globe nominations of any film this year. It also won Best Film honors from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the Critics’ Choice Awards — among several other awards it has already garnered.

“Manchester by the Sea” expands in its fifth weekend, after already amassing $3.1 million in its limited release. The Roadside Attractions drama has a nearly perfect 97 percent on the aforementioned reviews aggregation site. It was written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, who also wrote and directed the widely lauded 2011 drama “Margaret.” He also wrote the screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s “Gangs of New York” and the Robert De Niro comedy “Analyze This.”

“Manchester” also has a lot of awards season heat behind it, as star Casey Affleck won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor on Sunday. Also starring Michelle Williams and Kyle Chandler, it is a forlorn family tale about deep loss and its toll.

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