movies

‘Rogue One’ gets away clean with $155 million at the domestic box office

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Give a lot of credits to “Rogue One” — about $143 million of them.
Image: disney/lucasfilm

LOS ANGELES The Force Awakens, it was not but Rogue One got away clean with $155 million at the North American box office this weekend, a robust start that guarantees the first Star Wars “story” will not be the last.

The $155 million figure makes Rogue One the third highest grossing domestic weekend opener of 2016, behind Captain America: Civil War ($179 million) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($166 million). It’s also the 12th highest bow of all time, sandwiched between The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($147 million in 2013) and The Hunger Games ($152 million in 2012).

Mark this down as a not overly spectacular but certainly robustly good-enough launch for Disney’s plan to annualize its Star Wars franchise entries, including stand-alone “stories” that don’t quite factor into the central Skywalker saga.

Throw in other X-factors like new/unfamiliar characters, a female lead in Felicity Jones and a production that saw the studio seize control from director Gareth Edwards for a series of spendy reshoots just part of the process folks, not the controversy you’re looking for, move along and it’s safe to say that Rogue One‘s mission was a success.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story..Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones)..Ph: Film Frame ILM/Lucasfilm..2016 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Worldwide, Rogue One took in $290.5 million for the three-day frame, according to studio estimates obtained by Mashable on Sunday.

Where Rogue One winds up on the 2017 charts for total grosses should be an interesting case study: It should have long enough legs to catch No. 5 Deadpool, which hauled in $363 million after 18 weeks in release but has almost no hope of touching fellow Disney release Finding Dory, which stayed in movie theaters for 25 weeks on its way to a whopping $486 million domestic.

Of course, Rogue One never had a chance at playing like last year’s The Force Awakens and no one expected as much. That franchise homecoming celebration posted the highest opening weekend in history at $250 million in North America, a staggering result that was driven mostly by male moviegoers (64 percent) and instant-repeat business.

Rogue One also boasted the second-best December domestic opening, behind only The Force Awakens, of course.

The 23 percent Saturday-to-Sunday dropoff for Rogue One was far steeper than that of The Force Awakens (11 percent), which also posted a record $60 million for Thursday night late shows, a number that Rogue One needed Thursday night and all of Friday to hit.

BONUS: ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ exclusive featurette

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