“Hidden Figures” Soars Again at the Box Office


January 13-15, 2017

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)


Hidden Figures $20.4 million
La La Land $14.4 million
Sing  $13.8 million
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story  $13.7 million
The Bye Bye Man  $13.3 million


After last week's narrow victory over Rogue One, Hidden Figures was the clear winner of the battle of the box office this weekend. Adding about 800 more screens, the film only dropped about 10 percent. That's basically unheard of for a No. 1 movie, but Hidden Figures is a hit with just about every demographic. And it's likely to continue to rake in the cash throughout January, given the lack of competition.

La La Land has also been on an unstoppable upward trajectory. Adding about 300 more screens, it had its best weekend to date and has now pulled in nearly $75 million. And given how little audiences are responding to any true 2017 releases, it might just hit No. 1 soon.

Sing beat out Rogue One, but just barely. It's now passed Moana and jumped into the top 10 highest-grossing films of 2016. But Rogue One hit the bigger milestone: It passed Finding Dory to become the biggest movie of the past year in North America, and it's on its way to becoming the fourth movie of the year to top $1 billion worldwide. (Fun fact: Disney released all five of the biggest movies of 2016 worldwide.)

And all these older movies beat out The Bye Bye Man, which used its Friday the 13th release date to scare up a decent $13.3 million, which is almost double its budget. Surprisingly, that did better than any of the other new wide releases, including bigger films from stars like Jamie Foxx, Mark Wahlberg and Ben Affleck.


Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: Worlds Apart, Chris Papakaliatis' mini-trilogy about love among Greek citizens and their foreign partners. It made $14,000 on its lone screen.
  • Patriots Day, the big screen dramatization of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, failed to capture an audience. Debuting at No. 6 in its first weekend of wide release, the drama couldn't top four older films and a cheap horror flick. But that's still better than Live by Night (No. 11), the gangster picture from Ben Affleck. Affleck's last two films as a director (Argo and The Town) were sizable hits.
  • But let's hear it for Monster Trucks, which fulfilled Paramount's worst expectations, debuting with only $10.5 million despite costing a rumored $125 million.


Next week: M. Night Shyamalan continues his reclamation tour with Split, a thriller starring James McAvoy as a kidnapper with 23 personalities. It's received surprisingly good reviews from more genre-friendly critics. I think it opens with $20 million, which is slightly below 2015's surprisingly good The Visit. It goes head-to-head with XXX 3: The Return of Xander Cage, which will again prove a wide audience only wants to see Vin Diesel in a Fast & Furious movie.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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