I mentioned to my wife last week that up until last year, there hadn’t been a new Star Wars movie in 10 years… and now we’ve had two. Would the hype be the same? Would the anticipation be the same? Would the “I had to get tickets at 8am at the ArcLight because every other showing was too full” be the same? The answer may have been “no” to all three of these questions (I got into the 9:30am show this time!), but even a Star Wars film no one is sure what to do with is still a Star Wars film.
Rogue One blasted the Imperial forces of competition with a $155.1 million debut. By far the largest opening of the season, almost doubling Doctor Strange, and already topping Trolls entire gross in just three days. It was a great showing for a new spin on a familiar brand (certainly Fantastic Beasts wish they could’ve been that fantastic). The Force is with them and they are one with the Force, however, maybe not as much of the Force that was with the other Star Wars movies.
Despite such an impressive start, Rogue One opened with almost $100 million less than The Force Awakens last December. I know if I came back from the store with $100 million less than what I left with, I’d be in some trouble with the Mrs. I don’t think anyone’s going to get fired over this. It just helps to put some perspective between “main” Star Wars films and Star Wars stories.
While reviews have been positive, there were some odd choices in the film at times. For example, who decided Darth Vader lived in Bowser’s Castle at the top of a volcano? How did actor Mads Mikkelsen go from being the villain in Doctor Strange, the villain in Casino Royale, and the TV version of Hannibal Lector to an Imperial Scientist with a conscious? I think the galaxy needed to be even further than “far, far away” for me to not be distracted by that. Also, these rebels were like Meatloaf: I’ll do anything for fight the Empire, but I won’t do that. Instead, an outsider needs to rebel from the Rebellion in order to save the day. Good thing Han Solo showed-up by the next film for some much needed re-orging.
As for the films set on Earth, Office Christmas Party was more like a Wienerschnitzel Christmas Party. I’m sure it was fine for their assistant managers, but you probably won’t be talking about it in mixed company too often.
Moana, meanwhile, looks like it’s starting to sail adrift. Unless there’s some boost when kids are out of school, it doesn’t even look like it’ll catch Fantastic Beasts. FB, by the way, has a chance, albeit an unlikely one, of catching Doctor Strange. Otherwise, it looks like these will be your #2, #3, and #4 films.
Collateral Beauty turned out to be really, really ugly. A $7 million start for a Will Smith film?! I knew it’d face some stiff competition opening against Rogue One. I just didn’t realize that what it was really up against was apathy. I hope the actors had fun at their catered lunches or there’s no other memory of this film they’ll want to keep.
The onslaught of Christmas openings is about to be upon us. We’ll see if anything else can make some noise or if it all eats the dust of Rogue One.
The Top Five If Today Was MLK Day:
#1. Doctor Strange - $226.3 million
#2. Fantastic Beasts - $207.7 million
#3. Moana - $162.9 million
#4. Rogue One - $155.1 million
#5. Trolls - $147.4 million
by Matt Neuenburg on 12/22/2016
Movies Mentioned in this Post:
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them,
Office Christmas Party,
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,