Closing out the year this past holiday weekend, Disney’s Rogue One claimed spot #1 again for a third straight weekend in a row! But that’s just the beginning of the good news. Now that the books have closed on 2016 it's official that this past year was the most successful and profitable year for the box office ever! From the 725 films that released over the past twelve months, the domestic box office pulled in 11.3 billion in revenue. For Disney, over a quarter of this was all from their 16 films which combined brought in a cume of $3 billion. On top of that, Finding Dory ended up being the number one movie of the entire year.

Over the 3-day weekend Rogue One brought in $49.5 million domestically, only seeing a 22.6% decline from its second weekend performance. That’s actually a better performance than Force Awakens saw last year with its 39.5% decline the same respective weekend. But, with that said, Force Awakens did pull in nearly double what Rogue One did this weekend. When you zoom out to the four day holiday weekend the film ended up closing out the year with $64.3 million bringing its overall domestic cume in three weeks to $439.7 million, currently making it the thirteenth largest domestic release film ever. Internationally Rogue One has pulled in $350 million as well and its global cume is now just shy of $790 million.

It’s hard to say how Rogue One will compete next weekend as it’ll be going up against a solid Oscar contender releasing nationwide, Hidden Figures, and the lone nationwide newcomer, Underworld: Blood Wars, but there is a chance the Star Wars success could again take the top of the box office.

Also finishing the weekend strong was Illumination Studios Sing, which had a super successful 3-day weekend with $42.8 million. Given that its opening 3-day weekend last week was only $35.2 million, Sing performed 21.4% better domestically. But Sing’s high notes aren’t done there because by the end of the extended 4-day weekend the film finished with $56.4 which was a 3% better performance than its 4-day Christmas weekend results. It certainly doesn't come as any shock that Sing was able to pull of this level of success even after a strong Christmas opening. The film has a solid story, plenty of fun songs to sing along to, and no shortage of fun colors and animals to fall in love with. Plus this weekend was less encumbered by family get togethers and festivities allowing parents even more time to take their kids out to see this new animated film that is sure to inspire all of our little stars to shine and get the courage to chase their dreams. Overall Sing now has a $180 million domestically to its name and is nearly $280 million globally.

Continuing in the holiday success news, Disney’s Moana climbed up the charts with a fourth place finish of $14.3 million this weekend, thus effectively bumping 20th Century Fox’s Why Him down to spot number five. Assassin's Creed, 20th Century Fox’s other Christmas holiday release, dropped to spot number eight this weekend finishing the 3-day weekend with just over $8.6 million. The film whose total global cume now stands at $86 million (still $40 million away from making back its budget) had the worst sophomore weekend performance of the weekend, and will unquestionably stand little to no chance of taking out some hits and remaining in the top ten after this coming weekend.

Looking ahead to this weekend the landscape of the top five looks to get a bit of a shake up with 20th Century Fox’s academy award hopeful, Hidden Figures, going nationwide, as well as the lone newcomer of the weekend, Screen Gem’s Underworld: Blood Wars.

Underworld: Blood Wars is the fifth installment in the Underworld franchise series starring Kate Beckinsale. With the exception of the very first Underworld film, all the films have released in the cold void of January and have had openings ranging from $45-62 million. These films always promise their cult following and other action/thriller/monster movie lovers a great time so it might honestly have a chance of dethroning Rogue One this coming weekend. With that said, the exact reverse might happen and Rogue One could end up hurting Blood Wars’ performance as there’s always the possibility it’ll steal some of its audience away instead.

Hidden Figures which began its limited release roll out back on Christmas Day will expand into just under 2,300 theatres across the country. Hidden Figures is the true, untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson who were three brilliant African-American woman working in the NASA program and played a fundamental role in helping launch John Glenn into orbit, which would later become the first US astronaut to travel and return from space. Through their struggle and fight to overcome the still prevalent racism and gender oppression that was present in 1950 and 60s America, these three women helped lead the way to inspiring countless generations to dream big and never let someone else’s opinions of them define them. Despite only having a 6.9 out of 10 on IMDb, the film is garnering glowing reviews from critics already and is currently standing strong on Rotten Tomatoes with a 92%, as well as a 91% from Google users. I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this film for some months now as the film has an amazing cast starring Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, and that's just to name a few. Hidden Figures is without a doubt a film I’m urging everyone to go see this weekend because it is yet another powerful and important film on the subject of race and why unity offers us more when we stand together than division or hatred ever will.

Well that’s it for this week! Despite some serious records set by the 2016 Box Office, 2017 is looking promising. So this weekend, as you’re thinking of what to do in order to get out of the house and avoid cabin fever sitting in too much, think about heading out to your local film house and help support storytellers and their stories alike.

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