The Friday box office numbers are in, and in a surprising twist, a female-led historical drama about the space race may be the film to finally dethrone the female-led space-set epic Rogue One from the #1 spot. Indeed, director Theodore Melfi’s (St. Vincent) feel-good drama Hidden Figures is performing above expectations, bringing in a strong $7.6 million on Friday and a stellar A+ CinemaScore from audiences. The film was a late entry to the awards season but the 20th Century Fox drama has garnered swell reviews and could well be on its way to a Best Picture nomination. Helping matters would certainly be a headline-grabbing #1 debut at the box office, which certainly seems possible at this point.
The film stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae as three real-life African-American NASA employees whose calculations and smarts were vital to making John Glenn’s historic space flight a success. The film is devoid of cynicism and tackles race issues in a striking manner, and it boasts a stellar ensemble that also includes Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst.
But it’s a close box office race indeed. Rogue One grossed $6 million on Friday and could edge ahead of Hidden Figures in the long-run, although snow storms on the east coast may result in lower-than-expected numbers. The Star Wars spinoff has now crossed $461.4 million at the domestic box office, putting it in striking distance of 2016’s highest grossing release Finding Dory at $486.2 million. It’s also now #10 on the list of the highest grossing films of all time, domestic, knocking Avengers: Age of Ultron’s $459 million total off the list.
However, Rogue One isn’t the only film giving Hidden Figures a fight for the #1 weekend spot. Sing scored $5.1 million on Friday, which should bring its domestic total to a stunning $200 million in just a couple weeks of release.
As for the weekend’s other new release, Underworld: Blood Wars—the fifth installment in the vampire actioner franchise—grossed an estimated $5 million on Friday and is headed for a weekend total around $13 million. That would mark a franchise low-point, although not by much—the previous largest opening weekend for an Underworld movie was $26.8 million for the first sequel, Underworld: Evolution. The last installment, Underworld Awakening, earned a swell $97.7 million in foreign box office alone though, so one imagines Screen Gems is hinging on a strong international showing.
And finally, La La Land is making its way up the charts as it continues to expand. The Oscar frontrunner pushed to 1,515 theaters this weekend and is off to a strong start with $3.1 million on Friday for an estimated $10 million weekend. The film’s domestic total will hit over $50 million after this weekend, which is impressive for the smaller-budgeted musical. And the sky’s the limit, as the film’s profile is only expected to rise with a strong showing at the Golden Globes this Sunday and no doubt a bevy of Oscar nominations later this month.
Check out the Friday’s Top 5 below and check back tomorrow for full weekend estimates.
|4.||La La Land||$3,140,000||$44,796,587|