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Rogue One Runaway Box Office Winner

December 27, 2016

LOS ANGELES — It was an intergalactic holiday at movie theaters as Rogue One blasted past a spate of new releases to hold onto the top spot at the weekend box office.

The Star Wars story added another $96 million to its coffers over the four-day holiday period, according to studio estimates Dec. 26.

“The power of the ‘Star Wars’ brand made it the odds-on favorite to be the No. 1 film on Christmas weekend despite a massive amount of competition,” said Paul Dergarabedian, Senior Media analyst for box-office tracker comScore.

That left the weekend’s many new releases in a race for second place. The animated animal musical Sing claimed that spot, debuting to $56 million.

The Jennifer Lawrence-Chris Pratt space tale Passengers opened in third place with $23.1 million, followed by the R-rated comedy Why Him?

Wwith $16.7 million. The video-game adaptation Assassin’s Creed debuted in fifth place with $15 million.

Star Wars also dominated the holiday box office last year with The Force Awakens.

“Mid-December is kind of a magic time to release a big franchise film,” Dergarabedian said, noting that the top-grossing films of all time, Avatar and Titanic, also opened in mid-December.

Half a dozen other films either opened or expanded over the holiday weekend. Denzel Washington’s adaptation of August Wilson’s Fences expanded on Dec. 25, earning $11.37 million over the four-day weekend, good for sixth place.

While still in limited release, the celebrated musical La La Land opened in 534 additional theaters and finished the weekend in eighth place.

Also opening over the long holiday weekend: Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta, Martin Scorsese’s Silence, J.A. Bayona’s dark fantasy A Monster Calls, Ben Affleck’s Live By Night and the NASA drama Hidden Figures.

“There were so many cinematic presents under the Christmas tree, it was hard to keep track,” Dergarabedian said.

(SANDY COHEN, AP Entertainment Writer)

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