|Film||Weekend||Opening Weekend||Current Gross|
|Hidden Figures||$22.800 million||$515.499 thousand||$25.754 million|
|Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||$22.063 million||$155.081 million||$477.364 million|
|Sing||$20.712 million||$35.258 million||$214.512 million|
|Underworld: Blood Wars||$13.688 million||$13.688 million||$13.688 million|
|La La Land||$10.132 million||$88.104 thousand||$51.788 million|
There was more than one surprise this weekend in the world of film — not just the Golden Globes, but the box office too. However, where the Globes may have been disappointing to some, the results from the box office are a very pleasant surprise. The true story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson — three black women who worked at NASA during the time of Civil Rights — as told in the film Hidden Figures came out on top this weekend, making an impressive $22.8 million as it expanded to nearly 2,500 theaters. It’s now crossed its budget of $25 million and is looking at making a good-sized profit and winning over the audience at large as well as critics (who have given the film a 93 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, calling it “heartwarming” and “pivotal”). Given all the buzz around the film, it’s bound to continue doing well, which will be a great start to the year for a film led by and about women of color. Not to mention it’s impressive in and of itself that the film did so well against Rogue One.
20th Century Fox
The first Star Wars standalone film, Rogue One, did about $5 million less than expected. Some reasoning for a portion of the box office results this weekend is that severe weather along the east coast of the country, and in the south, caused closures of several movie theaters. Of course, there’s also the simple fact that more audiences decided to see Hidden Figures instead of Rogue One (likely again), which dropped around 55 percent, this weekend, and that Rogue One has finished its winning streak in fourth weekend given it’ll face even more competition from a variety of wide releases this upcoming weekend. As it stands, Rogue One is close to $1 billion globally (it’s currently made $914 million) so it’s not doing too poorly for itself, although it’s nowhere near The Force Awakens standards which, by its fourth weekend, was already over $800 million domestically (yes, you read that right, domestically, not globally).
The next two films also underperformed — the animated film Sing also by $5 million and Underworld: Blood Wars by just a couple. However, the former was likely also affected by Hidden Figures (parents seeking to take their children to an inspirational story) while the latter was simply a lack of interest from audiences. With its weekend intake, Sing crossed $200 million domestically and is now over $350 million globally, which is a good sign for Illumination. As Sing looks to overtake the first Despicable Me film, Illumination has nearly made $2 billion domestically since their first film in mid-2010.
Blood Wars, meanwhile, the fifth film in the Underworld franchise, had the lowest opening of any film in the franchise with $13.6 million. Luckily its budget of $35 million isn’t very high so it can still make a profit for Screen Gems, not to mention the fact that this franchise has never been a massive moneymaker. However, it’s been five years since the last Underworld film and that was the best-performing film of the bunch so there is a chance this film could find a second leg as the weeks go by (although it’s unlikely because several movies are opening in these upcoming weeks).
Finally, the critical darling musical La La Land, which walked away with a record-breaking number of Golden Globes last night, came in about as expected with just over $10 million. It’s looking to be a great performer at the box office (it’s at about $86 million worldwide so far) given all the buzz about town surrounding the film. It’s been growing in its box office numbers even since it was first released in just five theaters in early December and as it continues to dominate awards conversation, it’s bound to keep doing well. It certainly won’t be the biggest film to win big awards, but as a film that’s perhaps less mass appeal in some ways, its success is notable.
Rounding out the top ten were expected films like Passengers, Moana, Why Him?, and Fences. The fantasy film A Monster Calls, which expanded to more than 1,500 theaters, came in twelfth with just over $2 million. It’s performing fairly well overseas, making over $30 million so far, but its domestic intake is pretty low so far. Lisa Bunnell, President Distribution for Focus stated they’re a little “disappointed” so far but that they hope the good reviews can help grow the film going forward.
(Source: boxoffice.com, boxofficemojo.com. Figures represent numbers at time of writing, and may have changed.)
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor