I welcome all of you to A Numbers Game, where I try and take a random stab in the dark at figuring out just how much money a particular movie will make! With the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th comes the time for number nerds to try and guess just how much money will the movie take in the Box Office. I’ve used the amazing BoxOfficeMojo.com to take a few guesses at just how much Rogue One will make both domestically and internationally. I will explain my choices after each total is displayed so bring on the spreadsheets!
Domestic Gross Estimations
I consider this to be a pretty aggressive approach to the Rogue One’s second and third weeks. I compared the drop off amounts from The Dark Knight, Catching Fire, Hunger Games, and The Force Awakens and I also considered that there are four nationwide releases (Assassin’s Creed, Passengers, Sing, and Why Him) that will go against Rogue One to get an idea of how to calculate the percentage that it could drop off by Week 6. These numbers suggest that the competition is a bit stiff though not extremely damaging as I’m pretty sure Rogue One would take first place for both Week 2 and 3. After Week 6 I just followed The Force Awakens’ pattern for weekly drop off and adjusted accordingly. I don’t see Rogue One having as much staying power as The Force Awakens but please understand that this movie will be successful, very successful. I do believe we’ve been spoiled by the recent Marvel releases that we should expect $1 billion for anything considered a “big time” release but that’s just not a realistic concept. Rogue One will be considered a success after its run in the theaters is up, it’s just what kind of success that we really don’t know.
Here’s a week by week total of how much Rogue One will make by the end of its Week 16 run. It’s not as impressive as others would have imagined, I’ll admit, but is this really a low domestic total for a Star Wars movie? (Note: I ran through Week 16 because that’s where the money begins drying up. Yes the movie would make more beyond Week 16 but not enough to really matter) If Rogue One were to finish its domestic run with roughly $308 million it would place it as the fourth most successful Star Wars movie behind Revenge of the Sith ($380 million) and right in front of the original Star Wars ($307 million). I think that’s pretty successful! Compared to the rest of the 2016 movie releases it would place as the ninth most profitable movie domestically. For a risky movie that is quite a nice place to be sitting (Below Suicide Squad, $325 million, and ahead of Doctor Strange, $226 million). But what if Rogue One performs a bit better Week 2 and 3?
That’s a lot nicer looking and, while 50% is still a steep drop off, I personally feel like it’s the more likely scenario. What this scenario tells us is that the four nationwide releases in Week 2 don’t affect Rogue One nearly as much and movie goers still prefer it. I personally think the only movie that will challenge Rogue One will be Sing, the animated film from Illumination, as parents may take their children to see this after seeing the Star Wars film. I also relaxed the drop off in Week 3 but kept the same totals for the other weeks due to the movie just naturally falling out because as I said above, I don’t think Rogue One will have the same staying power as The Force Awakens did. So what does this mean as a cumulative total for the movie through Week 16?
That looks more like it! This may still seem like a low domestic total but I’m erring on the side of caution here. I don’t think it’s going to be possible for the movie to make even half of what The Force Awakens made but that isn’t a bad thing! $332 million would still be $132 million more than its production budget and it still places the movie as being wildly successful, obviously. It would still be the fourth highest grossing Star Wars film domestically of all time and it would move to seventh highest grossing movie domestically in 2016 (Behind Zootopia, $341 million, and in front of Batman v Superman, $330 million). Obviously any shift in percentage could increase or decrease the total but I think it’s fair to suggest that Rogue One will make over $300 million domestically, how much beyond that is literally anyone’s guess!
International Gross Estimations
This one was a little bit trickier to figure out because there are many factors that could shift this dramatically. I took the opening weekend foreign total and multiplied it by 3, 4, or 5 respectively to simulate that the opening day total would be either 33%, 25%, or 20% of its final amount. These percentages vary immensely with other movies (The Force Awakens had 24.8%, Attack of the Clones had 20.4%, and Revenge of the Sith had 31.1%) which made it hard to really get a bead on where Rogue One’s foreign total will actually sit in the end. Although there are 3 amounts here it really comes down to one market, China, and whether or not they are sold on the movie due to Donnie Yen. I expect the Chinese market to take to the movie very strong so I’m anticipating north of $575 million internationally for Rogue One. It has yet to be released in China (January 6th 2017) and South Korea (December 28th 2016) so expect the international figures to climb.
Here are the final estimations of what Rogue One could make based on my calculations. I personally feel like the movie will eclipse $900 million worldwide but not quite have enough to make $1 billion. Rogue One is going to be a massive success no matter how you stretch the numbers. So what does this mean to all of us? More Star Wars films of course! This just gives Disney the confidence to keep pumping out a Star Wars movie per year and encourages them to keep trying these one off stories to keep expanding the Star Wars cinematic universe. So until next time happy counting and may the force be with us all!