Six of the seven Star Wars films were the highest-grossing film of the year they came out, including last year’s The Force Awakens. Nobody doubts that December’s spinoff Rogue One will make tons of money, but will it also become the highest-grossing film of 2016 too? We’ll get our first hint on December 16 when it comes out, opening against the Warner Bros.’ drama Collateral Beauty and the STX Entertainment science fiction drama The Space Between Us.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Disney)
- Star Wars. Enough said.
- Darth Vader. Enough said.
- But just to say more anyway… this film takes place during the roughly 25-year period between the prequel trilogy and the “original” trilogy. Darth Vader is still alive, the Death Star is being constructed, Luke and Han and Leia aren’t in the picture yet, and a small rebel force is attempting to take down the Empire. With the most financially successful franchise in movie history behind it, Rogue One should be a lock for big dollars.
- Will audiences come out to see a one-time spinoff the way they did for all seven of the “in sequence” films? The characters in this one are basically entirely new. The Force Awakens found box office success mixed new characters with the existing Han and Leia and Luke, while the prequel trilogy did too by showing younger versions of beloved characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Except for brief glimpses of Darth Vader seen in the trailer, that familiarity won’t be present for this installment.
Collateral Beauty (Warner Bros.)
- An all-star cast includes Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Edward Norton, and Helen Mirren. All have been nominated for at least one Oscar (if not actually winning one in Winslet’s and Mirren’s cases), and all have a history of at least some box office success. Smith’s most recent film was the smash Suicide Squad with $323.7 million to date.
- The story of a depressed advertising executive who discovers meaning in his life could be a perfect fit for the holiday season, a la It’s a Wonderful Life.
- Smith’s previous December drama release Concussion last year wasn’t a big box office hit, with a $10.5 million opening and $34.5 million total gross, despite being about football — by far the most popular sport in the U.S.
- Going up against Rogue One in its debut will be a tough competition, perhaps the single toughest competition of the year.
The Space Between Us (STX Entertainment)
- This sci-fi drama about the first human born and raised on Mars who moves to Earth as a teenager stars Asa Butterfield, who’s coming off a decently-sized box office hit as the lead of September’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children.
- The release date for Space was moved from August to mid-December, officially to give the studio more time to perfect the special effects, but likely to position it as a dark-horse awards contender too. Though current projections for awards nominations don’t list it highly, if it unexpectedly breaks out that could help its word of mouth.
- Last year, two films opened against The Force Awakens: the comedy Sisters and the family largely-animated film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip. Both of those opened decently given what they were up against, but both were also in differing genres. By contrast, Space is a sci-fi drama viewable by anybody age 5 to 105, just like Rogue One. Combine that with yet another sci-fi drama opening the following week, Passengers, and Space might likely end up third out of three among those films at the box office.
Check out the official Boxoffice Pro long range forecast in the table below. Shawn Robbins and Jesse Rifkin contributed to this report.
|Title||Release Date||Distributor||Opening Weekend||Cumulative|
|Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||Dec 16, 2016||Disney||$135,000,000||$405,000,000|
|Collateral Beauty||Dec 16, 2016||Warner Bros.||$13,000,000||$75,000,000|
|The Space Between Us||Dec 16, 2016||STX Entertainment||$8,000,000||$45,000,000|
|Office Christmas Party||Dec 9, 2016||Paramount||$17,000,000||$70,000,000|
|Miss Sloane||Dec 9, 2016||EuropaCorp||$8,000,000||$26,000,000|
|Kidnap||Dec 2, 2016||Relativity Media||$7,000,000||$19,000,000|
|Incarnate||Dec 2, 2016||High Top Releasing||$4,500,000||$9,000,000|
|Moana||Nov 23, 2016||Disney||$65,000,000||$285,000,000|
|Allied||Nov 23, 2016||Paramount||$14,000,000||$68,000,000|
|Bad Santa 2||Nov 23, 2016||Broad Green Pictures||$10,000,000||$34,000,000|
|Rules Don’t Apply||Nov 23, 2016||Fox||$5,000,000||$19,000,000|
|Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them||Nov 18, 2016||Warner Bros.||$78,000,000||$210,000,000|
|The Edge of Seventeen||Nov 18, 2016||STX Entertainment||$13,000,000||$58,000,000|
|Bleed For This||Nov 18, 2016||Open Road Films||$6,500,000||$18,000,000|
|Friend Request||Nov 18, 2016||Freestyle Releasing||$2,500,000||$5,000,000|
|Arrival||Nov 11, 2016||Paramount||$27,000,000||$95,000,000|
|Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk||Nov 11, 2016||Sony / TriStar||$18,000,000||$75,000,000|
|Almost Christmas||Nov 11, 2016||Universal||$16,500,000||$46,000,000|
|Shut In||Nov 11, 2016||EuropaCorp||$5,500,000||$13,000,000|
|Doctor Strange||Nov 4, 2016||Disney||$88,000,000||$255,000,000|
|Trolls||Nov 4, 2016||Fox / Dreamworks||$23,000,000||$81,000,000|
|Hacksaw Ridge||Nov 4, 2016||Lionsgate||$8,000,000||$28,000,000|
|Inferno||Oct 28, 2016||Sony||$30,000,000||$85,000,000|