As I sometimes point out, our Weekend Box Office reports are based on estimations, as the final figures are not confirmed until Monday afternoon.  Usually it doesn’t matter as the predictions are generally on point and the films are spaced far enough apart in grosses that even if the numbers aren’t exact, the films still fall into the same positions on the chart.  This week, that’s a bit shakier. ***SEE BELOW FOR UPDATE***

‘Rogue One’ is estimated to come in at $21.97 million, with 20th Century Fox’s true story ‘Hidden Figures’ coming in at $21.8M.  But that is just an estimation, as Fox made a point of courting the faith-based audience for ‘Hidden Figures’ meaning that many church-goers may have taken in that film either after church or later Sunday evening, meaning that ‘Hidden Figures’ MAY actually take the weekend.  (If so, we’ll update things, but for now, we’re going with the estimates.)

It was previously predicted that Universal’s animated ‘Sing!’ would take the #2 spot for a third week, but ‘Hidden Figures’ is winning across the board, earning an extremely rare “A+” CinemaScore rating (in EVERY demographic, no less!) and 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.  The film is appealing largely to women (70%) and those over 25 (77%).

Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson declared:

“This is an all-audience movie for every single generation of people regardless of race, creed, religion, or gender. It’s an uplifting human interest story and the fact that it’s based on true events makes it even better.”

“It’s rare and it shows how balanced and broadly this film is playing.”

‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ had its budget slashed to less than half that of the previous film in the franchise, ‘Underworld: Awakening’ and opened accordingly at $13.1M, a new franchise low (all the others have opened north of $20M) and nearly half what ‘Awakening’ did in its first week.  Luckily, these films play extremely well overseas, so that should bolster this one, which is likely the last in the series.  ‘Blood Wars’ comes in at #4.

Here are the official numbers:

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Disney) – $21.97M
  2. Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox) – $21.8M
  3. Sing! (Universal) – $19.57M
  4. Underworld: Blood Wars (Sony/Screen Gems) – $13.1M
  5. La La Land (Lionsgate) – $10M

***MONDAY UPDATE: The final numbers show that ‘Hidden Figures’ actually beat ‘Rogue One’ once all the Sunday ticket sales were tallied.  ‘Hidden Figures’ finished with $22.8M over ‘Rogue One”s $21.1M, with roughly $700,000 separating the two!***

Every movie this weekend had to contend with Winter Storm Helena which pounded the East Coast and probably forced many to remain safe inside the comfort of their own homes.  On Friday, theaters in Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Alabama closed entirely.  Business was down in the northeastern states which were buried in snow.  Ticket sales were down 15% from last year, but then again, at this time last year, ‘The Force Awakens’ was still tearing it up and while ‘Rogue One’ is doing fantastically, it can’t quite compete with the first new ‘Star Wars’ in a decade, which was seen as a fresh start.

Next weekend, Ben Affleck’s prohibition gangster flick ‘Live By Night’ goes wide after a limited release in December (to qualify for awards season).  There is a crime drama called ‘Sleepless’ with a great cast headed by Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney and Gabrielle Union, but… well, I’ve never even heard of this movie, much less seen a trailer.  That can’t be good, can it?  Also opening is the low-budget horror film ‘The Bye Bye Man’ and ‘Monster Trucks’ which is another one of those that probably should never have been made.

Did you brave the cold to check out anything this weekend?  What are you looking forward to seeing next weekend?

Source: Deadline