As was expected, Rogue One obliterated the competition, taking in a massive haul of $155.1 million and a worldwide taking of $290. Way behind that, in second, was the former reigning champ Moana with $12.7 and Office Christmas Party behind that with an $8.6 third place. The yearly Star Wars sacrificial lamb, Collateral Beauty opened with a low $7.1 in fourth, the worst Will Smith opening ever, and Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them clings to fifth with $5.1 million. You can expect Rogue One to hold the top spot for a few weeks at least.
Seven movies open in wide release over the week, four of them already playing since Wednesday:
Sing (Opens Wednesday) – Illumination Entertainment, the animation company behind those yellow Minion guys, returns for their second original film of the year. Unfortunately, the only originality is in character design, as this one just seems to be an excuse to show the audience their cute animals singing popular songs. At almost two hours long, this is a parent killer.
Passengers (Opened Wednesday) – The powerhouse team of Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence star in this sci-fi thriller about two people who wake up on a cross-galaxy trip 90 years before they are supposed to. The reviews for this one are really bad, the ending cited as being one of the worst in recent memory.
Assassin’s Creed (Opened Wednesday) – The acting and directing team behind last year’s Macbeth, including Michael Fassbender, take on this popular game franchise in film form. Unfortunately, this film cannot defeat the curse of game to movie adaptation garbage, as it is a complete failure in storytelling.
Lion (Opened Wednesday) – The incredible true story of a lost orphan from India who, as an adult twenty years later, leaves his new home in Australia to reconnect with the family that lost him. This film is garnering a lot of worthy awards buzz.
Why Him? (Opens Christmas Day) – James Franco goes back for more lowbrow comedy, starring as an internet billionaire douchebag trying to impress his new girlfriend’s parents, the father played by Bryan Cranston. If you look at a trailer you know what you’re getting into.
La La Land (Opens Christmas Day) – My favorite movie this year, La La Land is pure movie magic, a musical story about two dreamers in Los Angeles looking to make their mark in the work. Unforgettable songs and choreography, this is the film I call “your new favorite movie”.
Fences (Opens Christmas Day) – Denzel Washington directs and stars in the August Wilson play that he did over one hundred times on Broadway with co-star Viola Davis. Unfortunately, although well acted, this should have been better left to the stage because it is a maddening over two-hour conversation that has you checking your watch every ten minutes.
At The Rio Theatre: It’s a night of Christmas classics as The Sound Of Music kicks everything off at 7 pm and once the Von Trapps have had their time, John McClane hits up a party at Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard at 11:30 pm. To me, that’s Christmas (especially that last one).