It will be interesting to see just how far Hidden Figures can go. The film took #1 at the box office for the second weekend in a row, and according to THR, the civil rights drama is “now looking to pull in $25.3 million-plus over the four-day holiday,” which would bring its domestic total to $59.6 million. That’s an impressive take for a film with a reported production budget of $25 million. While it will have stiff competition in the weeks ahead, don’t look for Hidden Figures to slow down, especially if it scores any Oscar nominations. Also, studios should take note: there’s an audience for movies driven by women and diversity.
The weekend’s other big success story was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While the film dropped to fourth place, it also earned a four-day tally of $17 million, which pushed it past Finding Dory to become the highest-grossing domestic release of 2016. The film will end the weekend with a worldwide haul of roughly $980 million, and it should cross the $1 billion mark in the next week or two.
The news wasn’t so pleasant for new releases. There was some modest success for The Bye Bye Man, which came in ahead of expectations to earn $13.4 million off a $7.4 million budget. Cheap horror gets people in the seats, and even if its critically derided and poorly received (the film only got a ‘C’ CinemaScore), it can make a tidy profit for the studio, in this cast STX Entertainment. Sleepless also performed above expectations to earn a projected four-day total of $10 million from 1,803 locations.
But these were modestly budgeted affairs. With a budget of $125 million, Monster Trucks crashed and burned at the box office. The movie has a projected four-day gross of $14.1 million from 3,111 locations. While that’s slightly above what was expected, it’s still a far cry from what was needed, and Viacom, the company that owns Paramount, had to take a $115 million write down in advance of the film’s launch.
There’s going to be a lot of talk of what the future holds for Ben Affleck following the letdown of Live by Night. Three years ago, Affleck was one of Hollywood’s hottest directors having earned a Best Picture Oscar for Argo. He continually pushed back Live by Night to make Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and The Accountant, and while that’s made him a more bankable actor, Live by Night doesn’t look good on his balance sheet as a director. The movie may not even crack $6 million over the four-day weekend and it only earned a ‘B’ CinemaScore. The film is also struggling overseas, where it only earned $3.3 million. At this point, Affleck may want to consider helming The Batman not because he wants to, but because it’s a guaranteed hit that will allow him to pursue other projects.
And while Martin Scorsese is a living legend, he’s not immune from flops. Silence is only expected to make $2.3 million over the four-day weekend despite costing $50 million to make. It might find better fortunes overseas, but I don’t think we can be surprised that a slow-moving, thoughtful drama about the limits of faith failed to pull in the same amount of people as Leonardo DiCaprio living it up as a drug-fueled millionaire.
It wasn’t all bad news for Oscar hopefuls expanding into wider releases. La La Land expanded into 1,848 theaters including 148 IMAX screens to pull in $17 million over the four-day weekend. That puts its domestic total at $77.1 million. The movie is also performing well overseas. It earned $17.8 million from foreign markets including an impressive $7.3 million from the UK to bring its worldwide total to $132 million. Expect La La Land’s success to continue as the Oscar nominations rolls in.
Finally, Patriots Day nabbed a glowing A+ CinemaScore as it expanded to 3,120 theaters and an estimated $14.3 million for the four days. While I’m not sure if it will be competing in a crowded Oscar field, the A+ CinemaScore bodes well for the film continuing to perform in the weeks ahead.
We’re still in the midst of the January doldrums, but that doesn’t mean the box office will be quiet. Next week sees The Founder finally expanding, the religious film The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, M. Night Shymalan’s return with Split, and the action sequel xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.
Here’s the Top 10 for the weekend (does not include MLK Jr. day projections):
|2.||La La Land
|4.||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
|5.||The Bye Bye Man
|9.||Underworld: Blood Wars