“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” passed $300 million at the domestic box office Tuesday, a milestone overshadowed by the death of the space saga’s iconic lead actress Carrie Fisher.
It was a second straight weekend of domination in North America for the first of three one-off “anthology” stories in Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars” universe, according to industry data released Tuesday.
The eighth “Star Wars” movie raked in $96.1 million over the extended Friday-to-Monday Christmas weekend, box office monitor Exhibitor Relations said, bringing its total receipts to $318 million.
But celebrations were cancelled out by the news that 60-year-old Fisher, who played the rebel heroine, Princess Leia, had died in Los Angeles following a heart attack on a transatlantic flight four days earlier.
“Such devastating news. I never met Carrie, but consistently heard how profoundly sharp and witty she was. Her maverick spirit will be missed by us all,” “Rogue One” star Felicity Jones said in a statement to the entertainment website Deadline.
“She was Princess Leia to the world but a very special friend to all of us. She had an indomitable spirit, incredible wit, and a loving heart,” said Lucasfilm president and “Rogue One” producer Kathleen Kennedy.
A slew of new movies opened in the United States and Canada over the Christmas holiday weekend.
“Sing,” an animated musical comedy featuring the voices of several A-listers including Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, burst into second place with $56.1 million.
The third spot went to “Passengers,” a sci-fi fantasy starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, who play two space travellers jolted from hibernation on a deep-space mission. It pulled in $23.1 million.
Claiming fourth spot was “Why Him?” a comedy about a dad feuding with his daughter’s boyfriend, which opened with $15.5 million.
“Assassin’s Creed,” based on the hugely successful video game franchise of the same name, took fifth with $14.8 million.
That means “Moana,” a computer-animated musical fantasy about a brave Polynesian teenager, slipped to sixth place from number two, pulling in another $12.6 million.
The film had previously topped the box office for three weekends and has now grossed $185.6 million to date.
At number seven was Denzel Washington’s “Fences,” with $11.6 million, while Oscar frontrunner “La La Land” pulled in $9.2 million for eighth place on the third weekend of a limited release that is about to expand nationwide.
The seasonal comedy “Office Christmas Party” dropped six places to number nine, with a haul of $7 million, for a total of $44.1 million during its three-weekend run.
Rounding out the top ten was “Collateral Beauty,” a sentimental drama featuring Will Smith. It managed to pull in $6.4 million.