Rogue One Squeaks Out a Win over Hidden Figures
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
January 8, 2017
The holiday phenomenon Sing finishes in third place, as it starts to see some wind come out of its sails with the bounty of Christmas behind us. Even so, the animated film from the Minions team earned $19.6 million for the weekend, down 54% as it starts to shed a few screens here and there. Its overall total is a mighty $213.4 million domestically, along with $144 million tallied from overseas venues thus far. People definitely enjoyed watching anthropomorphized animals taking part in a The Voice/American Idol type competition.
Rounding out the top five are a new release from a dying franchise and the leading contender for Best Picture. Underworld: Blood Wars, already a leading contender for next year’s Razzies, opened in theaters this weekend. Its box office of $13.1 million actually speaks well of a loyal fanbase since no other positives exist…and I say that as a fan of the Underworld franchise, at least the first two films. The latest iteration is only 22% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, 20% among top critics. Its B+ Cinemascore is the average for the franchise, which means Blood Wars neither hurts nor hurts Screen Gems moving forward. With a $35 million budget and $45 million already attained overseas, we haven’t seen the last of Kate Beckinsale in a vinyl cosplay outfit.
La La Land is the fifth place entrant. It earned $10 million this weekend, bringing its running total to $51.7 million. Given the fact that it still hasn’t expanded beyond 1,515 venues yet, its box office performance is amazing. In terms of per-location average, La La Land finished second out of the entire top ten with $6,601 per playdate. Only Hidden Figures at $8,822 surpasses it. Rogue One managed $5,286 if you’re wondering. January is always the realm of overachieving platform releases, but Hidden Figures and La La Land are both positioned to clean up at the box office from now until the week after the Oscars.
Our sixth and seventh place films are a couple of Christmas week releases. Now that the holidays are over Passengers should fall quickly out of the top 10, especially considering its poor reception both from critics and from audiences. Its three-day take was $8.8 million, a decline of 46% from last weekend’s New Year’s Day-inflated weekend gross. Thanks to the magic of the 12 days of box office, Passengers has accumulated a domestic total of $80.9 million, though that’s not going to be nearly enough considering the $110 million budget. The international total for Passengers is $56.8 million, which isn’t really enough to help. It’s down to the presence of Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt that this one wasn’t an out and out bomb.
That puts Why Him?, the Bryan Cranston/James Franco comedy, down to seventh. Amusingly enough, Why Him? had one of the better holds in the top 10, declining just 35% from last weekend down to $6.5 million. It’s approaching the $50 million mark with a cumulative domestic total of $48.6 million, and adds about $17 million more from overseas venues. The budget for this 20th Century Fox release was only $38 million, so while it’s not quite profitable yet, it’s going to be at least in the ballpark of providing a return for the studio.
Rounding out the top ten are a mainstay of the chart since November, an awards contender, and the least successful of our Christmas leftovers. Moana, the animated Disney film featuring the Rock and songs from Renaissance man Lin-Manuel Miranda, earned another $6.4 million from Friday-to-Sunday. That represents a decline of 42% from last weekend and brings the running North American total to $225.4 million. Moana’s overseas take effectively matches that number, which means it’s sitting with $450 million worldwide. Needless to say, it’s been a big year for Disney and Moana is a huge contributor to its success.
Ninth place goes to Denzel Washington’s Fences, which earned $4.7 million over the weekend and dropped 53% from the previous frame. So far, the $24 million budgeted awards contender has earned $40.7 million domestically and hasn’t received an overseas release at this point.
Our final spot in the top ten belongs to the biggest disappointment of the holiday season. Assassin’s Creed, which featured a number of Academy Award nominees and winners and carried a $125 million budget, earned $3.8 million. Its 56% decline was the largest in the top 12. The video game-based film has now earned $49.5 million domestically, along with another $50 million internationally.
If we compare 2017 to 2016, this year’s top 12 made $121.2 million, which is down quite a bit from last year’s $147.2 million. This time last year, we still had Star Wars: The Force Awakens earning $42 million and The Revenant taking in almost $40 million in its first weekend of wide release. Next weekend brings three mediocre-looking new wide releases in The Bye Bye Man, Monster Trucks, and Sleepless, but also will feature the expansion of films like Live By Night, Patriots Day and Silence. It’s those expanding films that should make a difference for the MLK holiday weekend.
||Rogue One: a Star Wars Story
||Underworld: Blood Wars
||La La Land
||Columbia Pictures (Sony)
||Manchester By the Sea
||Well Go Usa
||20th Century Women
||A Monster Calls
||Live By Night
||Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations