'Rogue One' has the second-best December opening weekend ever with $155 million

Rogue One Felicity Lucasfilm finalLucasfilm‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.’

As expected, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” had a huge weekend at the box office with an estimated $155 million domestically, according to Variety.

That’s the second-best opening ever in the month of December, behind last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” ($247.9 million), the third-best opening of 2016 (behind “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” ($166 million) and “Captain America: Civil War” ($179.1 million)), and the 12th best opening of all time (beating out 2012’s “The Hunger Games” ($152.5 million)).

The movie earned $290.5 million globally.

The first-ever standalone “Star Wars” movie jumped off to a strong start earning $29 million in its Thursday night preview screenings, the largest of the year. That added to the film’s $71 million opening Friday. “Rogue One” then earned $46.25 million on Saturday, only a 35% drop from its Friday take proving that despite the arctic blast hitting the east coast this weekend it didn’t stop fans from going to the theatres. The -35% is also better than the 42.7% drop in sales “The Force Awakens” had last year.

Now repeat viewings and word of mouth will fuel the movie for the rest of the year, which has very little competition in front of it.

Destroying the only other wide release opening alongside it this weekend, the Will Smith drama “Collateral Beauty,” which earned an estimated $7 million (worst wide opening of Smith’s career), the sci-fi love story “Passengers,” starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence (opening Wednesday), will also be no match for “Rogue One.”

For a second consecutive year Disney will dominate the Christmas season at the multiplex.

And because of the performance of Disney titles the entire year, 2016 will likely end with three Disney properties leading the domestic box office: “Rogue One” (Lucasfilm) is probably going to be number one before the year is out, in second will be “Finding Dory” (Pixar), and third “Captain America: Civil War” (Marvel).

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