The Hidden Figures are finally seen to the tune of $22.8 million, as the prospective awards contender rockets to a stellar opening across its first weekend in wide release.
The Theodore Melfi-directed, Taraji P. Henson-fronted drama — a crowd-pleaser based on the real-life story of three black, female mathematicians who successfully aided NASA during the Space Race amid racial segregation — rockets to an impressive haul as the Oscar race heats up, an important headline to make as the film continues its bid for a best picture nomination three days after Academy voting opened.
In limited release, Hidden Figures (which also stars Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe) posted solid results, earning almost $3 million despite never reaching more than 25 locations over its first 12 days. Strong word-of-mouth (the film earned a rare A+ grade on CinemaScore) will have audiences flocking to theaters as awards season goes on, meaning it’ll likely have a final tally more than double the $25.8 million Hidden Figures has amassed to date.
Hidden Figures ultimately took reigning champion Rogue One out of commission, as the space opera lands at No. 2 on the domestic chart, breaking its three-week streak at No. 1. Gareth Edwards’ first entry in the Star Wars universe bags another $22 million over the three-day frame, pushing its North American total to $477.4 million after just 24 days in theaters, with an additional $437 million pouring in from international markets.
Universal’s animated musical comedy Sing sheds 52 percent of its holiday audience for a third weekend gross in the $20.7 million range. The $75 million production is yet another success story for the studio’s partnership with Illuminations Entertainment, which has collaborated on hits like the Despicable Me series (and 2016’s surprise juggernaut The Secret Life of Pets) with the entertainment giant in the past.
Kate Beckinsale took another stab at the Underworld franchise on Friday, when the successful 13-year-old series’ fifth installment, subtitled Blood Wars, opened on 3,070 screens as the week’s widest new release. Reviews were scathing and initial industry expectations — which Blood Wars meets at No. 4 with $13.7 million — for the film’s debut grosses were modest. Despite exemplifying the franchise’s aging status (its the first Underworld film to gross under $20 million over opening weekend), the action-horror flick was made for half (around $35 million with incentives) of what its 2012 predecessor cost, meaning it’s already a success with $58.3 million global ticket sales to date. Additional territories, including the U.K., France, Italy, and Spain, are on deck in the weeks ahead.
Rounding out the top five is Damien Chazelle’s best picture frontrunner La La Land, which added 765 theaters Friday. The contemporary musical, about the colorful relationship that blossoms between two Los Angeles creatives, piles $10.1 million on top of its ballooning total, which currently stands at $51.8 million — enough to make it the 18th highest grossing movie musical of all time, unadjusted for inflation.
Outside the top five, J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls — which also expanded from four locations to 1,523 at the top of the weekend — nets $2.1 million for a finish at No. 13. In terms of North American releases, A Monster Calls falls in line with Bayona’s prior releases, as The Orphanage made just over $2 million over its first mainstream outing in 2007, while The Impossible — which earned Naomi Watts her second Oscar nomination — scored a $2.5 million wide debut in 2012. A Monster Calls‘ worldwide total sits at $36.1 million.
According to comScore, overall box office is down around 11 percent from the same frame last year. Read on for the full Jan. 6-8 weekend actuals.
1. Hidden Figures – $22.8 million
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – $21.9 million
3. Sing – $20.7
4. Underworld: Blood Wars – $13.7 million
5. La La Land – $10.1 million
6. Passengers – $8.8 million
7. Why Him? – $6.9 million
8. Moana – $6.3 million
9. Fences – $4.8 million
10. Assassin’s Creed – $4.2 million