The force stays with Rogue One for a third straight week

Felicity Jones stars in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Felicity Jones stars in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. PHOTO: DISNEY

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Rogue One, the latest chapter in the Star Wars intergalactic saga, kept a firm grip on the box office top spot for a third straight week, industry estimates for North America showed on Sunday.

The Disney film, the first stand-alone episode in the eight-film series, follows the mission of rebel alliance fighters trying to steal plans to the Empire's feared Death Star.

At this point in the three-day New Year's holiday weekend, Rogue One has taken in US$49.7 million (S$71.9 million) in US and Canadian theatres, bringing its three-week total to US$441 million, Exhibitor Relations reported.

Universal's animated musical Sing was the runner-up for a second straight week, with a US$41.4 million take so far this weekend and an accumulated total of US$177.3 million.

The actors who voice the cartoon characters - Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson and Reese Witherspoon - also do their own singing.

The Sony sci-fi thriller Passengers maintained its third-place position, though far behind the two leaders, with a US$16.1 million take in its second week, for total revenues of US$61.4 million.

The film stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as astronauts who accidentally awaken from hibernation - 90 years too early - during a deep-space mission.

Moana, a computer-animated musical fantasy from Disney about a brave Polynesian teenager, climbed back to fourth place from sixth in its sixth week, pulling in US$10.5 million, for a US$213 million total so far.

In fifth place, and also on the rise, was Paramount's Fences, Denzel Washington's adaptation of an August Wilson play about racial tensions and failed dreams, which rose from seventh position to take in US$10.2 million, for total revenues of US$32.7 million since its release three weeks ago.

Rounding out the top 10 were: Why Him? (US$10 million) La La Land (US$9.5 million) Assassin's Creed (US$8 million) Manchester by the Sea (US$4.2 million) Collateral Beauty (US$4 million).