7th Update, Monday AM: Early-morning estimates indicate that 20th Century Fox’s Hidden Figures has won the box office weekend with $22.8 million over Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which made $21.9M. Essentially what happened was that the faith-based came out in bulk yesterday for Hidden Figures, giving it a Sunday that was 28% down from Saturday. That’s better than the -40% many were expecting for the Ted Melfi-directed movie. Rogue One eased 35% as projected between Sunday and Saturday. Disney and Fox have not made this official yet.

6th writethru, Sunday AM after Saturday 11:30 PM postDisney is calling No. 1 for Rogue One‘s fourth weekend with $21.97M while 20th Century Fox’s wide expansion of Hidden Figures is at $21.8M in second per studio-reported numbers this morning. This despite the fact that many majors see the Ted Melfi-directed movie winning the weekend in a near dead heat over Rogue One,  $21.82M to $21.76M.  

On Friday night, there were whispers that Rogue One would buckle to Sing this weekend, a surprise as many analysts weren’t expecting the Star Wars prequel to fall from its No. 1 perch until next weekend or the weekend after.  What’s happened is that Hidden Figures has overindexed greatly in 17 of the top 20 markets. The movie received an A+ CinemaScore, a grade which only two studio titles earned last year: Disney’s Queen of Katwe and Sony’s Miracles From Heaven, and before that 2015’s Selma and American Sniper.  Even more impressive was that Hidden Figures earned an A+ in every single demo category.

Beamed Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson this morning, “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.”

In regards to 17 of the top 20 overindexing, Aronson says, “It’s rare and it shows how balanced and broadly this film is playing.”

76% of the audience came out for the subject matter while 30% bought tickets for Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. Overall draw was 70% women, 30% men, with 77% over 25.

hidden-figures
20th Century Fox

Working in Hidden Figures’ favor today is the fact that it could draw flocks following church services. Pic is on track to ease 40% today, while Rogue One is looking at -35%.

Over the last two days, all titles contended with Winter Storm Helena which dumped on the Eastern Seaboard. Overall, sources say its negative impact was minimal, slowing ticket sales by -2% than they normally would be. Overall tickets sales for the weekend at $135M are off 15% from a year ago, but that’s because of Force Awakens footprint in the market. YTD at $323.3M per ComScore we’re 12% behind 2016, but it’s still very early in the year. Word is, most theaters are open today and most markets that were down yesterday will rebound. Theaters were closed in Georgia, Tennessee, the Carolinas and Alabama on Friday night while business was slowed in the Northeast. Boston was down 19% for Hidden Figures, Hartford/New Haven too, with Norfolk, VA — one of the original launches for the movie — dropped 94% on Friday.

On Saturday, Hidden Figures spiked 18% over Friday with $8.96M, while Rogue One saw a 55% gain over the same period with $9.3M and Sing surged  73% with $9M. Hidden Figures’ top plays were in San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Bethesda, MD, Dallas, and Atlanta.

Producer Donna Gigliotti under her Levantine Films label secured Margot Shetterly’s book three years ago after being moved by the surprising story of the NASA African American female mathematicians behind John Glenn’s launch. She put the script out to agencies to find a director and Melfi raised his hand. Melfi made St. Vincent with Peter Chernin, drew him in, and then the producer took the project to Fox where he has a production deal.

winter-storm-helena
Robert Theis

Illumination/Universal’s feature toon is now expected to slot third with an estimated $19.6M and a running total of $213.3m.  Rogue One by the end of tomorrow should rest north of $477, just $23M away from $500M.

Sony/Screen Gems’ Underworld: Blood Wars improved 8% on top of Friday with $5.2M on Saturday, on track for $13.1MBlood Wars drew 50/50 male-female with 76% over 25. Females gave the movie an A- as did those in the under 25 bunch. Sony made this for an estimated $35M (after incentives), a price at less than half the previous installment. Overseas is $45M and counting. 47% of the crowd bought tickets because of the franchise, while 37% came out for actress Kate Beckinsale. Stateside, this isn’t a good turnout for the movie, as its opening is 49% below the previous installment. In fact all Underworlds have opened to north of $20M. With all the testosterone fare coming down the pike in the upcoming weeks from Bye Bye Man, XXX: The Return of Xander Cage and even Screen Gems’ own Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, it will be shocking if Blood Wars maintains a wide theater count through the end of January. There’s just too much competition.

Underworld: Blood Wars is an opportunity for us to extend the Underworld franchise, take it past the half billion box office point worldwide and at half the cost. We look forward to more momentum over the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. With over $45 million overseas, the best days for Blood Wars lie ahead,” said Sony’s domestic distribution chief Rory Bruer.

Lionsgate/Summit’s seven-Golden Globe nominated musical La La Land is still looking at fifth place with a $10M take in its fifth weekend, 5% higher than last weekend. On Saturday, the Damien Chazelle-directed movie grossed $4.1M, +29% over yesterday. Estimated running total by EOD tomorrow: $51.4M. Over the weekend, the original musical became the No. 1 soundtrack on iTunes. Next weekend, the film will get a release in Imax.

Focus Features’  A Monster Calls, despite great reviews and an A CinemaScore, didn’t really fare as well as a title like this should, with $2M at 1,515 locations. Pic’s lack of awards recognition doesn’t make it the top choice among arthouse crowds. Movie is a bit of a feathered fish: It’s from a kid’s point of view, but it’s a movie for grown-ups and that’s who turned up with 53% females and 62% over 25, 22% under 18. Still not a bad grade in any demo with 18-24s giving the J.A. Bayona-directed movie an A+.

In regards to those movies that stand to reap the biggest Globes b.o. bang, sources say the smaller titles will benefit more than the wide releases. Those clips airing for 18.5M TV viewers are great publicity for specialty fare.

Below are studio reported Sunday AM estimates. Again, by tomorrow morning, we could see Hidden Figures winning the weekend.

1.) Rogue One  (DIS), 4,157 theaters  (0)/$6M Fri. /$9.5M Sat/$6.3M Sun./ 3-day cume: $21.97M (-56%)/Total: $477.2M/Wk 4

2.) Hidden Figures (Fox) 2,471 theaters (+2,446)/$7.6M Fri /$8.9M Sat/$5.3M Sun/$3-day: $21.8M (+2,441%)/Total: $24.75M/Wk 3

3.) Sing (UNI), 3,955 theaters (-74)  /$5.1M Fri.  /$9M Sat/$5.47M Sun/ 3-day cume: $19.57M (-54%)/Total: $213.3M/Wk 3

4.) Underworld: Blood Wars (Sony) 3,070 theaters/$4.8M Fri/$5.2M Sat/$3.1M/3-day: $13.1M /Wk 1

5.) La La Land (Lionsgate) 1,515 (+765) /$3M Fri /$4.1M Sat/$2.9M Sun/$3-day:$10M (+5%)/Total:$51.7M/ Wk 5

6.) Passengers  (SONY/VR), 3,400 theaters (-78)  /$2.7M Fri/$3.9M Sat/$2.1M Sun/3-day: $8.8M (-45%)/Total: $80.89M/Wk 3

7.) Why Him?  (FOX), 2,904 theaters (-104)  /$2.07M Fri  /$2.8M Sat/ $1.63M Sun/ Sun/3-day:$6.5M (-35%)/Total: $48.6M/Wk 3

8.) Moana  (DIS), 2,549 Theaters (-226) / $1.5M Fri. /$2.7M Sat/$2M Sun/3-day: $6.4M (-41%)/Total: $225.3M/Wk

9.) Fences (PAR) 2,368 theaters (+67) /$1.4M Fri/$2.7M Sat/$600K Sun/3-day:$4.7M (-53%)/Total:$40.7M/Wk 4

10.) Assassin’s Creed  (FOX), 2,642 theaters (-354)  /$1.1M Fri. /$1.7M Sat/$1M Sun/3-day:$3.8M (-56%)/Total: $49.5M/Wk 3

Notables:

A Monster Calls  (FOC), 1,523 theaters (+1,519)  /$659K Fri. /$840K Sat/$510K Sun/3-day:$2M (+9485%)/Total:$2.1M/Wk 3

Silence  (PAR), 51 theaters (+47)  /$164k Fri. /$187K Sat/$129K Sun/3-day:$480K (+478%)/PTA: $9,4k/Total: $862K/ Wk 3 

20th Century Women (AP/A24) 10 theaters  (+6) /$40K Fri /$57K Sat/$37K Sun/3-day: $134K (+21%)/PTA: $13,4K/Total: $387K/Wk 2

Patriot’s Day  (CBS/LG), 7 theaters  /$38k Fri /$37K Sat/$30K Sun/3-day: $105K (-29%)/PTA: $15K/Total: $870,4k/Wk 3

 Paterson (BLR/AMZ) 7 theaters (+3)/$20K Fri/$30K Sat/$19K Sun/3-day: $70,2K (+1%)/PTA: $10K/Total: $221,9K

Live by Night  (WB), 4 theaters  /$8k Fri. /$12K Sat/$8K Sun/3-day:$28k (-24%)/Total: $170K/ Wk 3

4th Writethru Saturday AM: Expanding from 25 theaters to 2,471, 20th Century Fox/Chernin’s Hidden Figures is blasting off to between $21M+ after winning Friday with around $7.6M.

Right now Hidden Figures is off to a great start as the Ted Melfi-directed feature about the African American mathematicians behind astronaut John Glenn’s NASA launch also earned an A+ CinemaScore — a rare grade that few (if any) major studio titles earned last year. And it got an A+ with both male and females and every age group, which is extremely rare.

Actually Sony’s Miracles From Heaven earned an A+, but faith-based pics always have it easier than the average major studio release as their core demographic turns up in full on opening night. In regards to the last major studio titles earning A+, Disney’s Queen of Katwe earned it four months ago, while Warner Bros.’ American Sniper, Paramount’s Selma grabbed the grade two years ago. In addition to Selma, The Help was another African American movie which also earned an A+.

The Help cranked out a 6.5 multiple off its opening for a final cume of $169.7M, while Selma saw a 4.6 off its $11M wide break for a final $52M stateside. On average, A+ CinemaScores generate a 4.8 multiple. Also helping Hidden Figures is its Rotten Tomatoes score of 92% fresh. It still has the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday coming up so the legs for this movie should be strong.

“The film is crossing over,” asserts one observer, while another adds, “What Fox did was unprecedented. Hidden Figures jumped from 25 screens in 15 cities and that was a very risky move. If it didn’t catch, they would have been screwed. But they took the risk and it’s paid off.”

Jamie Foxx has Sleepless opening against Hidden Figures next weekend, and he’s so amazed by Melfi’s movie, he’s even telling people to go see it:

rogue-one-4
Disney

Rogue One‘s grip on No. 1 is slight right now, currently $200K ahead of  Sing, $22.9M to $22.7M. There’s a chance that the Illumination/Universal title might pass it, which wasn’t expected going into the weekend, although one studio analyst called it close. Hidden Figures is currently looking at third place — that is unless, Hidden Figures‘ Sunday turns out to be stronger. Fox did implement an outreach to the faith-based for the movie and that crowd typically shows up following church services (televangelist Joel Osteen is telling his flock to go see the movie).

Illumination/Universal’s singing animal jukebox movie obviously has the sway over matinees and could see its estimated $5.2M Friday surge by 100% on Saturday. It’s also expected to ease less than Hidden Figures, -35% to -40%.

Meanwhile, Sony/Screen Gems’ fifthquel Underworld: Blood Wars is coming in at the low end of expectations with slightly more than $13M, which marks the first time this vampire hunter-Lycan feud movie has dropped below $20M in its weekend opening.

In the wake of #OscarsSoWhite last year, Hidden Figures joins a resurgence of African American features this awards season, including A24’s Moonlight ($13M+ by Sunday), Focus Features’ Loving ($7.5M) and Paramount’s Fences ($40.5M). Rather than watch this film get lost during the fall season, Fox held onto it until all the noise calmed down after Rogue One, much like they did with The Revenant last year post Force Awakens.

hidden figures flotus screening

That said, Fox began stoking the awards season flames at the Toronto International Film Festival in September where they revealed 30 minutes of footage, and held a concert where Pharrell Williams performed some of his original songs from the movie.

Two huge components in Hidden Figures’ marketing campaign: The White House and NASA.

In endorsing the movie, the space org’s head administrator Charles Bolden was involved in organizing screenings for both President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama held a STEM student event and screening which was streamed via Facebook Live & WhiteHouse.gov website on Dec. 15. United States chief technology officer Megan Smith, also a champion of the movie, hosted “Hidden Figures in Space Exploration” at the White House Screening event with the First Lady. Dr Knatokie Ford, director of the White House Office of STEM visited the set, and championed the film through release. In addition, Hidden Figures had the White House’s social support across all channels.

Michelle Obama
AP

With NASA, there was an International Space Station screening of Hidden Figures, a Langley 100th Anniversary event with Katherine Johnson, now 98, who Taraji P. Henson portrays in the movie. A John Glenn Launch pad event for the film at the Kennedy Space Center drew 100M impressions on Facebook Live. In addition, NASA pushed out exclusive content, programs guides and social support for the movie.

underworld
Screen Gems

Sony obviously made the big play overseas with Underworld: Blood Wars, where it has already logged $45M+ in advance of this weekend’s U.S./Canada debut.  Estimated P&A is around $50M for this $35M production. Screen Gems tried to keep this installment as cheap as they could and sliced the budget from Awakening‘s $70M to an estimated $35M on this one. The previous installment, 2012’s Awakening made the most at $160M worldwide and $62.32M domestic.  It’s not like Sony really did anything dramatic here with the marketing in terms of expanding beyond the franchise’s core audience. The TV spots were all wash, rinse, repeat: Kate Beckinsale in leather with flying fists and bullets. The difference this time? It’s hinted that her character’s daughter is a potential casualty. But given the near 50% drop in Blood Wars’ domestic opening from Awakening, audiences know it’s all same old, same old. In three weeks, the same genre crowd that’s watching Blood Wars will head to Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Stateside that doesn’t do any favors for Blood Wars, but again, it’s foreign that’s driving the charge on these dusty genre franchises. Final Chapter has already become the highest grossing Resident Evil in Japan with $25M-plus. Blood Wars gets a B+ CinemaScore which is line with three other Underworlds, but is down from Awakening’s A-.

La La Land.jpeg
Lionsgate

During a Golden Globes weekend where its ablaze with seven nominations including best comedy/musical, Lionsgate/Summit’s La La Land is projected to see $10.3M in fifth place — up 8% over last weekend’s New Year’s frame– as it expands from 750 to 1,515 sites. Cume by Golden Globes night will be close to $52M.

Sony/Village Roadshow/LStar/Wanda’s pricey Passengers falls to sixth with $8.45M in its third FSS, -48%, for a running estimated cume by the end of the weekend of $80.1M.

Focus Features also expanded its J.A. Bayona-directed weepy A Monster Calls from four New York and Los Angeles auditoriums to 1,523 theaters. It’s wounded, with close to $2M. Something is amiss here though: Friday moviegoers are giving it an A CinemaScore, and critics didn’t exactly kill this beast with an 87% fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. Lack of kudo recognition here could be preventing it from crossing over.

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Kerry Brown

Top per-theaters among specialty fare include CBS/Lionsgate’s Patriots Day with $17K+, Annapurna/A24’s 20th Century Women at $13K+ and Paramount’s limited expansion of Martin Scorsese’s Silence with $10,1K.

Anita Busch contributed to this report

Estimated weekend B.O. as of Saturday AM from industry estimates for the period of Jan. 6-8, Golden Globes weekend:

1.) Rogue One  (DIS), 4,157 theaters  (0)/$6M Fri. (-67%) / 3-day cume: $22.9M (-54%)/Total: $478.2M/Wk 4

2.) Sing (UNI), 3,955 theaters (-74)  /$5.2M Fri. (-69%) / 3-day cume: $22.7M (-47%)/Total: $216.5M/Wk 3

3.) Hidden Figures (Fox) 2,471 theaters (+2,446)/$7.6M Fri (+2694%)/3-day: $21.04M (+2352%)/Total: $23.5M/Wk 3

4.) Underworld: Blood Wars (Sony) 3,070 theaters/$4.8M Fri/3-day: $13.1M /Wk 1

5.) La La Land (Lionsgate) 1,515 (+765) /$3.1M Fri (-5%) /3-day:$10.3M (+8%)/Total:$52M/ Wk 5

6.) Passengers  (SONY/VR), 3,400 theaters (-78)  /$2.65M Fri (-53%) /3-day: $8.45M (-48%)/Total: $80.5M/Wk 3

7.) Moana  (DIS), 2,549 Theaters (-226) / $1.6M (-63%) Fri. /3-day: $7.6M (-31%)/Total: $226.6M/Wk 7

8.) Why Him?  (FOX), 2,904 theaters (-104)  /$2.1M Fri (-36%) / 3-day:$6.6M (-34%)/Total: $48.7M/Wk 3

9.) Fences (PAR) 2,368 theaters (+67) /$1.39M (-62%) Fri/3-day:$4.6M (-56%)/Total:$40.5M/Wk 4

10.) Assassin’s Creed  (FOX), 2,642 theaters (-354)  /$1.1M Fri. (-65%)/3-day:$3.8M (-56%)/Total: $49.5M/Wk 3

11.).Manchester by the Sea (RSA/AMZ) 1,054 theaters  (-152)/$740K (-46%) Fri  /3-day: $2.48M (-41%)/Total: $33.8M/Wk 8

Notables:

Greta Gerwig - 20th Century Women.jpeg
A24

A Monster Calls  (FOC), 1,523 theaters (+1,519)  /$659K Fri. (+10883%)/3-day:$1.96M (+9233%)/Total:$2.1M/Wk 3

Silence  (PAR), 51 theaters (+47)  /$162,5k Fri. (+523%) /3-day:$520K (+527%)/PTA: $10,1k/Total: $901,5K/ Wk 3

20th Century Women (AP/A24) 10 theaters  (+6) /$40K Fri (+3%)/3-day: $133K (+20%)/PTA: $13,3K/Total: $386K/Wk 2

Patriot’s Day  (CBS/LG), 7 theaters  /$38k Fri (-22%)/3-day: $122K (-17%)/PTA: $17,4K/Total: $887k/Wk 3

Paterson (BLR/AMZ) 7 theaters (+3)/$20K Fri (-13%)/3-day: $69K (even)/Total: $221K

Live by Night  (WB), 4 theaters  /$8k Fri. (-27%)  /3-day:$28k (-22%)/Total: $169,5K/ Wk 3

hidden-figures-group-photo

1st update, 7:39AM: 20th Century Fox/Chernin Entertainment’s Hidden Figuresone of two wide releases this weekend, collected $1.2 million from Thursday night previews at 2,250 locations. The movie, directed by Ted Melfi, expands to 2,471 theaters after playing at 25 sites since Christmas Day. Pic’s running cume now stands at $4.1M. Last night’s ticket sales will be rolled into Friday’s opening number.

That’s a very good start for Hidden Figures when compared to such the preview cash for Selma ($400K) and Lee Daniels’ The Butler ($480K), which opened to $11.3M (wide release) and $24.6M, respectively. Heading into the weekend, Hidden Figures was tracking to make $15M-$17M, but as of yesterday we heard it could tip into $20M territory.

Hidden Figures tells the story of the trio of African American women who crossed gender and race lines and were the math brains behind NASA’s launch of John Glenn into space. The movie has received some awards-season traction with two SAG nominations for best ensemble and Octavia Spencer in a supporting role, as well as Golden Globe noms for Spencer and the pic’s original score by Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams and Benjamin Wallfisch. Melfi and Allison Schroeder also received a WGA Awards nomination for their adapted screenplay.

Also, opening this weekend is Sony/Screen Gems’ vampire hunter fifthquel Underworld: Blood Warsstarring Kate Beckinsale. Previews were held last night starting at midnight. Tracking has the genre pic landing in the mid-to-high teens.

rogue-one-9
Disney

Disney/Lucasfilm’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will continue its march on the box office in its fourth weekend with an estimated 3-day take in the mid $20M range, with Illumination/Universal’s Sing not that far behind in second. Through last night, Rogue One totals $455.3M, while Sing heads to $200M today. Rogue One led all movies yesterday with $3.86M, Sing slotted second with $3.6M, and Passengers collected $1.7M in third with a cume before its third weekend of $72M.

There’s a huge snowstorm that is impacting the south, and we’re keeping an eye on that. Charlotte, North Carolina is expected to get 4-8 inches of snow and Raleigh, 6-8 inches. Atlanta, GA this afternoon is expected to get 2-4 inches with 6-12 inches dumping on Norfolk, VA.