Box Office Wrap Up: Hidden Figures Topples Rogue One.
Fox’s historical drama pulls off an upset, taking first place from Disney in the first full weekend of the year.
The King is dead, long earn the king! With a cold snap taking a big chunk out of box office earnings, launch conditions were perfect for Hidden Figures, a historical drama about a team of African American women who helped to save the project Mercury space launch. Box office figures were down 28% year over year as many theaters had shortened hours or outright closures on the East Coast. This affected many of the smaller films who are just beginning their expansions ahead of the competitive awards season that culminates in the Oscars in February.
Despite the weather, Hidden Figures edged out Rogue One for the top spot, while appearing on more than a thousand fewer screens. Strong reviews and word of mouth have positioned the film well for the coming weeks.
It is not all bitter news for Disney, though, as Rogue One is set to make several more milestones. The film has become the 2nd highest earning film for 2016, giving Disney 4 of the 5 top spots (with only Universal’s Secret Life of Pets as the spoiler.) It now looks like Rogue One will unseat Finding Dory as the overall 2016 earnings king.
Third place went to Sing, another successful animated project from Universal.
The only new wide release, Underworld: Blood Wars, failed for find a vein this weekend. Not only was it’s anemic 13 million dollar opening too thin to make the top three, it is the all time worst opening for an iteration in the Underworld franchise. After also taking a major loss last year with The Disappointments Room, it appears Kate Beckinsale is losing her ability to draw viewers to the box office.
Fifth place went to the throw-back musical La La Land, which had a ton of hype behind it. Having secured several Golden Globes last night, you can bet that La La Land is going to have a strong run between now and the Oscars.
Other award show hopefuls definitely felt the chill. Fences, starring Viola Davis and Denzel Washinton, barely held on to the 9th spot. A Monster Calls, which was making its big expansion off of tremendous critical praise, failed to crack the top ten, instead finishing at 12th, just ahead of Manchester by the Sea. It will be interesting to see if the long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend can help these more niche releases climb back into the top ten, or if the trio of more mainstream friendly movies (including Jamie Fox’s crime thriller Sleepless) will rule the day.
Top Ten Movies.
1. Hidden Figures (22.8)
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (22.0)
3. Sing (20.7)
4. Underworld: Blood Wars (13.6)
5. La La Land (10.1)
6. Passengers (8.8)
7. Why Him? (6.9)
8. Moana (6.3)
9. Fences (4.8)
10. Assassin’s Creed (4.1)