|Star Wars fans pose for a photo as they line up to see ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, on December 15, 2016. — AFP/VNA Photo|
LOS ANGELES — The latest blockbuster episode in the "Star Wars" anthology dominated weekend box offices in North America, humbling another popular Disney film, "Moana," according to industry estimates.
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" raked in US$155 million for the three-day weekend, Exhibitor Relations said. It has brought in $290 million globally, and has yet to open in the vast Chinese market.
The North American figure was less than last year’s $248 million weekend opening of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" but still ranked the new film as 12th among all-time openings and third-best this year, according to Forbes.
"The movie lived up to expectations," said Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst with comScore. Based on the success of these latest two films, "The next film in the Star Wars saga has the potential to claim the title as the biggest movie of all time," he said.
"Rogue One" blew away the $11.7 million weekend take of second-place film "Moana," the computer-animated musical fantasy about a brave Polynesian teenager, which had ruled the box office for three straight weekends and has grossed $161.8 million to date.
Produced by Lucasfilm and directed by Gareth Edwards, "Rogue One" stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna and Forest Whitaker. The first stand-alone chapter in the Star Wars epic — it is set shortly before the events of the original 1977 film — it tells the story of Rebel Alliance fighters trying to steal plans for the Empire’s feared Death Star.
Placing third in weekend box offices was "Office Christmas Party," a Paramount comedy starring Jennifer Aniston, which took in $8.4 million.
Fourth was the Warner Bros. film "Collateral Beauty," which notched $7 million in its opening weekend. With an ensemble cast including Will Smith, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren, it tells the story of a man trying to cope with his daughter’s death.
In fifth place was the Harry Potter spin-off "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," which chalked up $5 million, for a total so far of $207.6 million.
Based on a 2001 book by J.K. Rowling, the Warner Bros. film stars Eddie Redmayne as a wizard in 1920s New York.
Rounding out the top 10 films were:
"Manchester by the Sea" ($4.2 million)
"La La Land" ($4 million)
"Arrival" ($2.8 million)
"Doctor Strange" ($2 million)
"Nocturnal Animals" ($1.4 million). — AFP