In what’s looking to become an annual tradition, this year’s holiday weekend “Let’s go to the movies to avoid talking to each other” choice for family audiences was a Star Wars movie. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story easily topped the box office over the four-day weekend, adding $64 million to its absurd $155 million opening weekend, with steady revenues in the days between, racking up a total of $286 million thus far.
Sing, the latest animated effort from Despicable Me creators Illumination Entertainment, came in a distant but respectable second with $56 million, while the witheringly reviewed Chris Pratt/Jennifer Lawrence vehicle Passengers took third with $23 million. The week’s other new releases similarly sputtered: the Bryan Cranston/James Franco comedy Why Him? brought in $16 million in fourth place, and Assassin’s Creed, the videogame adaptation from (incongruently enough) the director and stars of last December’s Macbeth, managed only $15 million in fifth place. (Fences also expanded from four screens to over two thousand over the Christmas weekend, for a sixth-place, $11 million finish, though it will presumably show significant stamina as awards and nominations are heaped upon it in the weeks to come – an unlikely prospect for Passengers, Assassin’s Creed, or Why Him?)
Rogue One’s take was significantly smaller than Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ in the same holiday timeframe last year – it brought in $149 million – but nonetheless confirms that the best diversion for cutting through the tension of political disagreements and poor gift choices is heading out to the multiplex to see a Star War; Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode XIII will continue that tradition when it hits theaters on December 15, 2017. And don’t forget, these holiday releases are semi-accidental – the first six Star Wars pics all came out in May, with The Force Awakens pushing back to December mostly due to delays caused by Harrison Ford’s on-set leg injury. So, Harrison Ford’s leg, America’s families salute you. You gave us something to listen to instead of Uncle Randy’s pro-Trump rants.