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'Rogue One' wins box office again: How 'Star Wars' movie conquered the holiday season

'Rogue One' came in first at the box office for the third weekend in a row, demonstrating the power of the 'Star Wars' name when paired with good reviews.

'Rogue One' stars Donnie Yen.
Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm Ltd./AP | Caption

The rebels of “Rogue One” continued to rule over the box office this past weekend, with the latest "Star Wars" film coming in at number one for the third time in a row, cementing its status as the biggest hit of the 2016 holiday season.

“Rogue,” originally released on Dec. 16, grossed more than $64 million domestically this weekend, which was a four-day stretch because of the New Year’s holiday. “Rogue” takes place before the original 1970s “Star Wars” trilogy and stars Felicity Jones and Diego Luna as members of a band of rebels who attempt to obtain the plans for the Empire’s Death Star. 

Meanwhile, the animated movie “Sing,” which is the latest from Universal’s Illumination Entertainment, placed second after having opened on Dec. 21, taking in $56 million this past weekend. 

The science fiction movie “Passengers,” which stars Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence and also opened earlier in December, came in third, grossing more than $20 million this past weekend, while the Disney animated movie “Moana,” a holdover from November, placed fourth, grossing $14 million. 

The comedy “Why Him?,” which came out in late December, placed fifth, grossing $13 million. 

With its third straight win at the box office, “Rogue” has proven again its status as the holiday season’s biggest winner. Already, it is the second-highest-grossing film of the year, second only to the Pixar animated movie “Finding Dory” (also released by Disney, interestingly enough).

What enabled “Rogue” to become the holiday season movie champion?

One should doubtless never have a lack of faith in the power of the “Star Wars” name. Variety writer Brent Lang called the movie a “familiar favorite.” 

And Paul Dergarabedian, comScore senior media analyst, also cited good reviews in an interview with USA Today.

“It's the second straight year that a 'Star Wars' film has owned New Year's," Mr. Dergarabedian said. "It's the irresistible gravitational pull of the brand, along with ‘Rogue One’ just being a flat-out great movie.”