‘Rogue One’ Aims For $155M Weekend; ‘Collateral Beauty’ Still Ugly – Sunday

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is now looking to punch the hyperspace button toward a $155M weekend opening after a $46.25M Saturday, which is down 35% from the pic’s $71M Friday (including $29M previews). That’s the Sunday morning estimate from Disney. That figure was the 12th best opening day ever and second-best for December after Force Awakens’ all-time high of $119.1M.
Today is a wild card for Rogue One. There’s fewer schools out on Monday (48% per Disney’s watch) than a year ago (77%), and the Gareth Edwards-directed prequel could ease -17% today from yesterday.  By comparison, Episode VII‘s declined -11% between its first Saturday and Sunday. 

However, there’s talk that the film is already on a roll, and could swell well north of $155M — wow. 

One sharp non-Disney box office analyst this morning predicts that Rogue One is headed to $575M-$600M. Titanic, the third highest grossing pic stateside of all-time, made $600.7M before its re-releases.
Remember, this year is set to break a record at the domestic B.O., beating last year’s $11B. 

ComScore shows that after this weekend, we’re at $10.6B before we hit the uber-lucrative holiday frame, 4% ahead of last years $10.2B at the same point in time for Jan. 1-Dec. 18. Interestingly enough, at $210M this wasn’t the highest grossing weekend of 2016, rather it was Easter weekend with Batman v. Superman which raked in a total ticket sales number of $252.3M.

Rogue One‘s percent hold between Friday and Saturday bests the -43% ease over the same time frame for Force Awakens. We always knew Rogue One wouldn’t be Force Awakens, but even if the prequel’s opening is -37% from the J.J. Abrams-directed sequel,  it’s still phenomenal business for this time of year, and the fun part will be watching this pic conquer throughout the holiday.
Disney’s marketing timeline for Rogue One was very different from Force Awakens, and intentionally so.  Initially, we saw the first trailer for Force Awakens more than a year in advance over Thanksgiving 2014. Partly, Disney did not want to confuse audiences in regards to Rogue One‘s connection to Force Awakens. It’s why they opted not to drop a trailer with Force Awakens and waited close to four months after that giant calmed down before they unveiled a Rogue One trailer on Good Morning America April 7. The launch drew 77M global views and was further bolstered by an in-theater trailer drop on Captain America: Civil War‘s opening weekend during the first frame of May.
But another reason why Rogue One had a different rollout for its promotions during the course of the calendar was because “with the standalone movie, part of the conceit was to create a way in for the uninitiated in Star Wars. We wanted to tee this up as an event. And a response like this shows that Rogue One is part of this unbelievable brand,” says Disney domestic distribution chief Dave Hollis.
Hollis gave a big shoutout to Disney marketing architects Ricky Strauss, president of marketing, and Asad Ayaz, EVP marketing Walt Disney studios and their “global marketing team for the ages.” 

They’re the guys who marshal the individual departments from creative to social to media and have catapulted Disney to $7 billion at the worldwide B.O.

Star Wars Celebration
On July 16 a Star Wars Celebration panel in London was live-streamed globally and featured the teaser poster debut, an exclusive behind-the-scenes featurette, and the full principal cast (Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Ben Mendelsohn) on stage with director Gareth Edwards, Kathleen Kennedy, Kiri Hart, and John Knoll, moderated by Force Awakens star Gwendoline Christie. This event truly expanded a spotlight on the film, revealing more details about this fresh crop of characters.

There was a Rio Olympics stunt with a five-day multi-channel integration across multiple day-parts and events with custom TV creative, co-branded spots with day-of event footage. The payoff poster debuted on The Star Wars Show on Oct. 12 with trailer dropping Oct. 13 on GMA, supported across ESPN, Univision, and ABC News, and debuting in theaters with Doctor Strange. There were major media hits across Thanksgiving Weekend, leading to a Cyber Monday ticketing blitz across Fandango, YouTube, Flixster, IMDb, VEVO, Yahoo Movies, NFL, The Voice, Gotham, Twitter and more, with ticket sellers and exhibitors offering special packages and generating the second highest presales for any movie ever except for The Force Awakens. Twitter supported with creation of a Death Star emoji.


Extensive synergy support across Disney, including ESPN SportsCenter takeover throughout December and unprecedented segment during College Football Games (Dec. 2-3) that featured fighter jets flyovers, Epcot’s Spaceship Earth at Orlando’s Disney World being turned into the Death Star (Dec. 5) with Mads Mikkelsen in attendance. This was live-streamed on Disney Parks blog and other Star Wars and Walt Disney Studios social channels. Major Rogue 

One promotional partners included Gillette, Duracell, Nissan, Verizon, General Mills, and Uber; digital partnerships included Google, Twitter, Facebook.
At $19M, Rogue One is the second biggest December opening for Imax theaters ever, and the best to date in 2016. That figure reps over 12% of the pic’s weekend ticket sales. The large format provider had to add 2AM showtimes across the country to meet demand. Rogue One easily slots into the top 5 best all-time Imax opening weekends ever. Per screen was $47K with Imax auditoriums represented in four of the top five grossing theatres and eight of the top 10.
550 premium large format Rogue One screens  drew an estimated $17.9M; the second highest of all-time for the format behind Force Awakens, and repping 12% of the total weekend gross. Cinemark XD led all exhibitors with an estimated PLF gross of $3.7M for FSS (its 4th highest all time and 2nd highest for December) and a 21% share of all PLFs.

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