'Hidden Figures' repeats at #1 as new releases underperform

ScreenerBlog

It was a quiet MLK weekend at the box office, with all but one new wide release failing to meet expectations. That one is, surprise surprise, STX’s horror film The Bye Bye Man, which opened to $15.3 million (four-day) against a $7.4 million budget. So we might be looking at a sequel here, or maybe a prequel—The Hello Hello Man, anyone?

Though impressive given its small budget, The Bye Bye Man’s debut haul was only enough to sneak it into the top five, behind a quartet of holdovers. In spot number four was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, with which its four-day weekend gross of $17.1 million finally made it past the $500 million mark domestically. Third place went to La La Land (weekend gross $17.5 million, total gross $77 million), while Illumination Entertainment’s Sing (weekend gross $19.1 million, total gross $238.3 million) grabbed the runner-up spot. And that leaves the number one position to Hidden Figures, which surpassed expectations to earn $26 million (total gross $60.3 million) in its second weekend of wide release. Per The Huffington Post, that makes Hidden Figures “the first live-action, non-franchise film starring more than one female lead to hit No. 1 two weekends in a row since The Help in 2011.” An A+ CinemaScore, positive reviews and a paucity of new releases, particularly ones geared towards adults (I mean, unless your mom is really looking forward to xXx: The Return of Xander Cage) should keep Hidden Figures going strong over the coming weeks.

Hidden Figures’ $7,912 per-theatre average well exceeded that of new wide releases Monster Trucks (weekend gross $15 million, PTA $4,809) and Patriots Day (weekend gross $13.6 million, PTA $4,359), the latter of which expanded to wide release following three weekends in limited. Worldwide, Monster Trucks has so far earned $29.7 million, a mere drop in the bucket of its reported $125 million budget.

Hidden Figures also showed up new release Sleepless, which opened on a modest 1,803 screens to a mere $9.8 million. And then there’s Ben Affleck’s gangster drama Live by Night. Given the prestige held by its director/star, you’d think an expansion from four screens to 2,822 would yield… I dunno, spit-balling here…. more than $6.1 million. Right? But alas, you’d be wrong, because $6.1 million is just what Live by Night got over the four-day, keeping it out of the top ten. Its $2,149 PTA was the worst of the week for any movie showing on 2,000+ screens. 

Meanwhile, Martin Scorsese’s Silence expanded from 51 theatres to 747 and pulled in $2.3 million. New to theatres in limited release were Bollywood film Ok Jaanu ($260,000 on 121 screens), ChinaLion release Some Like It Hot ($51,000 on ten screens), Greece-set social drama Worlds Apart ($19,500 on a single screen) and documentary Saving Banksy ($1,728 on a single screen).