Box office: Patriots Day challenges Hidden Figures for No. 1
After seeking out the leading ladies of Hidden Figures to the tune of $22.8 million last week, moviegoers have several new wide releases to choose from as the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday looms. The four-day stretch means larger-than-average grosses for newcomers and holdovers alike, so while Fox's prospective Oscar contender could very likely extend its reign for another weekend come Monday, buzzy expander Patriots Day is in the hunt for audience attention as well — and, with glowing critical reviews, the Peter Berg/Mark Wahlberg thriller just might get it.
Check EW's box office predictions for the four-day frame below.
1. Hidden Figures – $22 million
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe came to theaters, audiences saw, and Hidden Figures subsequently conquered the domestic chart, pulling out a surprise victory over reigning champion Rogue One last week. With astronomical word-of-mouth (the film received an extremely rare A+ grade on CinemaScore) driving business, Hidden Figures should repeat at No. 1 for the second frame in a row this weekend, as the film's racially-focused narrative might resonate particularly well with audiences over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Look for Hidden Figures to gross a number between $20-$25 million over the four-day period.
2. Patriots Day – $21 million
Berg and Wahlberg's third major outing together, Patriots Day, has big shoes to fill. Their first collaboration, 2013's Lone Survivor, scored two Oscar nominations, while Deepwater Horizon, released last summer, launched at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival to solid critical reviews. The thread uniting all three films? They're based on actual events, something commercial audiences have responded well to in the past, as Survivor and Horizon grossed $154 million and $118 million worldwide, respectively. In limited release since Dec. 21, Patriots Day, based on real-life events surrounding the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, has posted decent numbers at seven theaters thus far. Its total stands at just under $898,697 after 21 days, boding well for a sturdy holiday opening approaching $21 million.
3. Sing – $16 million
Animated titles traditionally perform well at the holiday box office (school closures mean more young bodies are available to fill seats at the theater), and the Universal/Illuminations musical Sing has reaped the benefits of three such weekends so far; it tallied a healthy $54 million after launching two days before Christmas, and added a further $57 million through the New Year's Day frame. Its $217.4 million domestic total will push even higher as MLK Day approaches, as the film remains the most prominent family title in wide release (its theater count easily bested that of its closest competitor, Moana, last week). Expect Sing to finish the holiday with a $14-$16 million pot.
4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – $14.5 million
Three-time box office champion Rogue One finally met its match in the form of Hidden Figures last week, falling to the buzzy awards contender's crowd-pleasing status over its fourth weekend in wide release. It's likely to tumble even further down the North American top 10 in the coming days, finally edging out Finding Dory to become the top-earning film to be released in 2016. As of Wednesday, its U.S. and Canadian ticket sales amount to $481 million — around $5 million less than Dory's haul, while its global gross stands tall at a staggering $918.8 million after just 26 days in theaters.
5. La La Land – $12 million
With an added boost from its record-breaking showing at Sunday's Golden Globes, where it swept all seven of its nominated categories to become the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's most-decorated film of all time, Damien Chazelle's La La Land should continue to see an uptick in business as it holds steady in wide release. Thus far, the Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling flick has had no trouble catching on with North American audiences, as both the film (and its accompanying soundtrack) are doing big business despite the distributor's marketing shying away from the film's identity as a contemporary musical. Currently the frontrunner for the best picture Oscar, La La Land is in prime position to cross the $100 million mark and will end its domestic run as one of the top 10-grossing musical productions in history, a list on which its $55.9 million total currently occupies the No. 17 spot.
With middling reviews and minimal pre-release awards buzz on its side, the grosses for Ben Affleck's latest directorial effort, Live by Night, won't reach even a fraction of the stellar numbers posted by his Best Picture winner, Argo, in 2012. Still, as it expands to around 2,700 theaters this weekend, the film should find itself firmly nestled in the domestic top 10, pulling in around $7-$9 million across its nationwide debut, gunning for mid-chart placement against The Bye Bye Man (which actually marks Hollywood legend Faye Dunaway's first major theatrical release in years), a horror newcomer that should find itself with a figure in the $5-$8 million range at approximately 2,300 locations for the three-day, with a figure approaching $10 million for the four-day.
Patriots Day actress Michelle Monaghan has a second film debuting across North America this Friday as well, as her Open Road Films thriller Sleepless (fronted by Jamie Foxx) premieres in roughly 1,800 theaters. Though it didn't screen for movie critics (never a good sign), the ensemble cast's general likability (Gabrielle Union and T.I. have supporting roles) should be enough to push the film into $6-$9 million territory through the holiday.
Finally, Martin Scorsese's long-awaited passion project Silence opens in theaters across the nation following a nearly 30-year production cycle from initial concept to release. Adapted from Shūsaku Endō's 1966 novel of the same name, the Andrew Garfield/Adam Driver drama was previously touted as a legitimate Oscar contender, though its prospects dwindled as major awards bodies (Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild) shunned it outright. While Silence will probably end up as Scorsese's first financial disappointment in years as it debuts on 750 screens, as one of the greatest living filmmakers, he has a core audience who will drive the picture to a wide opening somewhere between $3-$5 million.