Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has Forced (see what we did there) its way into the hearts and wallets of movie goer's alike, winning the box office for the third straight weekend.
After a strong opening weekend in which it earned $155 million -- breaking into the top 15 opening weekends in box office history -- and following up with $96.1 million in US receipts on Christmas weekend, the first standalone movie in the franchise took home another near-$50 million.
As it is a four-day weekend, there are projections that could push that total to $65 million with the extra day and most schools and employers still staying closed on Monday.
The weekend total will push the film over a $400 million gross revenue mark domestically.
The animated movie Sing took second place for the second straight week with a solid $41.4 million -- down from $56.1 million in its opening week. Passengers finished the weekend at $16.1 million, but will need a strong international push if it hopes to turn a profit from its $110 million budget. The raunchy comedy Why Him? came in fourth place at $10 million, and is close to turning a profit, being just $400K below its production cost. Lastly, Assassin's Creed finished at fifth with $8 million.
Assassin's Creed is not being well received by critics nor fans and the box office totals sit at just $41 million despite at $125 million budget.
Rogue One's legs should continue to run nicely for Disney/Lucasfilm over the next several weeks.
January is full of lower-budget action fare like another Underworld, another Resident Evil, and another xXx, the last of which may challenge Rogue One slightly thanks to Donnie Yen and Vin Diesel's presence. Still, Rogue One should plow through most of January with aplomb, giving it an easy second place finish overall in the Star Wars franchise and a grand future for the "Star Wars Story" model.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now. Directed by Gareth Edwards, it's the first of the new standalone features from Lucasfilm and Disney, which take place outside the core "Skywalker Saga" of films noted by an Episode number. Rogue One tells the story of the small band of rebels that were tasked with stealing the plans to the first Death Star. The story spins directly off the opening crawl from the original Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. In that crawl, it read: "Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet."