The Star Wars prequel hauled in $64.3 million in North America over the four-day holiday weekend, according to comScore data. It was atop the box office for a third consecutive weekend. Worldwide, the film finished in first place with a three-day total of $95.3 million this weekend, per data collected Sunday.
"The movie is simply dominating, earning a whopping $774.9 million globally through this weekend after opening in Korea on the 28th. With China set to open the film on the 6th, the latest film in the Star Wars universe will have the $1 billion mark in its sights," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore.
With Rogue One rocking, Wall Street has flown to Disney's shares. Disney's stock has gained an impressive 6.2% over the past month to $106.20, handily outperforming the Dow Jones Industrial Average's 2.2% gain.
Meanwhile, animated musical Sing from Comcast's(CMCSA) - Get Report Universal Pictures came in second place during the four-day weekend with $56.4 million. Sony's(SNE) - Get Report romantic science fiction thriller Passengers raked in $20.7 million, while Disney's Moana brought in $14.3 million and comedy Why Him? from 20th Century Fox (FOXA) - Get Report grossed $13.0 million. No new films opened in wide release over the period.
Box Office Pro analysts had expected Rogue One to generate $82.0 million, Sing to rake in $55.0 million, Passengers to bring in $22.6 million and Why Him? and Moana to gross $16.0 million and $13.5 million, respectively.
The fourth-quarter domestic box office finished better than anticipated, according to MKM Partners Managing Director Eric Handler. The quarter faced difficult comparisons from Disney's highly successful Star Wars: The Force Awakens film last year. Revenue declined 3.5% during the period vs. the firm's forecast for a 5.5% drop.
"The upside was a result of both Rogue One and Sing grossing higher-than-expected revenue ... Among the key drivers in the quarter, we believe pricing and attendance fell about 2% and approximately 1.5%, respectively. Pricing was likely negatively impacted by last year's high volume of premium priced tickets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Handler wrote in a note today.
The domestic box office is heading toward what should be a third straight record year and has an "impressive 2018 looming in the distance" due to sequels for mega-franchises including The Avengers, Jurassic World and Avatar, he added. The industry should also continue to benefit from ongoing premium offerings, including leather recliners, reseating initiatives and food and beverage upgrades.
"Furthermore, it would not be surprising to us to see a new wave of consolidation occur within the industry given strong balance sheets among the top players and independent, regional players facing the decision to either increase capital expenditures for upgrades or risk losing market share," Handler noted.
"We like AMC as it integrates the recently closed acquisitions Carmike and Odeon, its international market exposure in Europe, and its ongoing renovation initiatives," Handler said. Cinemark and Imax should also benefit from international exposure this year.