Even with the arrival of new two new titles this weekend — 20th Century Fox/Chernin’s expansion of Underworld: Blood Wars — Disney/Lucasfilm’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will not topple, set to earn an estimated $25 million-$26 million in its fourth weekend.and the opening of Sony/Screen Gems’ fifthquel
Through yesterday, the Star Wars prequel counts $447.2M stateside and $817.4M worldwide, with many saying the pic will hit $1 billion soon after it arrives in China on Friday.
Rogue One will ease down the charts either during the Martin Luther King Jr holiday weekend when CBS/Lionsgate’s Patriots Day goes wide (it is currently projected to make $20M over four-days), or during January 20-22 when Universal/Blumhouse’s M. Night Shyamalan pic Split and Paramount’s XXX: The Return Of Xander Cage look to make $23M and $20M, respectively, atop the chart. Last year, Star Wars: The Force Awakens had a four-weekend run at No. 1, falling to third place to Ride Along 2 during MLK weekend.
Illumination/Universal’s Sing is also anticipated to hold second place with a $20M-plus three-day in its third go-r0und. The running cume through yesterday for the Garth Jennings animated movie stands at $187M.
Rated PG, Hidden Figures has already generated interest among students with schools booking group sales. The movie, directed by Ted Melfi, is expected to make $15M-$17M at about 2,500 locations. Given the interest among the younger set, previews will start at 5 PM tomorrow. 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.
Since opening December 25, Hidden Figures counts $2.77M through 10 days at 25 locations. The pic cost a reported $25M. Hidden Figures has been certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a 92% rating and counts two SAG nominations for best ensemble and Octavia Spencer in a supporting role, as well as two Golden Globe noms for Spencer and the pic’s original score by Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams and Benjamin Wallfisch. This morning, Melfi and co-screenwriter Allison Schroeder snagged a WGA Awards nomination for their adapted screenplay.
Meanwhile, Kate Beckinsale returns as vampire hunter Selene in Underworld: Blood Wars, which is on track to pull in under 25 guys for a low- to mid-teens weekend in 3,065 theaters. Already this movie, which cost a reported $35M after production incentives, has collected $45M abroad and it hasn’t even hit the UK, Italy, Spain or France yet. Previews begin tomorrow night after 7 PM.
Sony/Village Roadshow/Wanda/LStar’s Passengers continues to battle its way to higher numbers and should hit the $70M mark before Friday. Analysts have the pic earning $10M in its third weekend, a 38% drop.
Focus Features will expand A Monster Calls from four New York and Los Angeles locations to 1,500 sites Friday. Since opening on December 23, the movie directed by J.A. Bayona has been getting crushed by the specialty competition of Silence, Hidden Figures, Patriots Day and 20th Century Women, earning only an estimated $85K through yesterday.