Last year, this week in January marked the final one that Star Wars: The Force Awakens would be No. 1 on the box office charts. Rogue One seemed to be taking a similar path.
But at the moment, all we can say is that the weekend’s box office winner is … inconclusive.
Preliminary weekend estimates provided by the studios give Rogue One a $21.97 million weekend, according to The Numbers, but the surprise box office power of the historical film Hidden Figures is right behind with an estimate of $21.8 million. That puts Hidden Figures within a potential margin of error between studio estimates for the weekend and final numbers, meaning Taraji P. Henson might be the star that takes down Star Wars.
Hidden Figures, a film about three African-American mathematicians trying to get the respect they deserve in Apollo-era NASA, actually beat Rogue One Friday with $7.6 million compared to the Star Wars anthology film’s $6.1 million. Rogue One bounced back on Saturday and Sunday, but the wins were narrow.
And that’s why the current estimates for the weekend separate the two by less than $200,000.
Hidden Figures has now grossed $24.8 million in 15 days, the first couple weeks coming from limited release. Rogue One, however, has now picked up $477.3 million in 24 days, putting it just $9 million away from becoming the top film of 2016 – and almost assuring that the Star Wars film will reach it.
Rogue One‘s global take is now $927.4 million, which move it to the No. 5 slot for 2016, behind The Jungle Book‘s $963.9 million. To reach the top three, Rogue One will have to cross the $1 billion mark, but it seems to be moving strongly toward that milestone.
The only major wide release for the weekend was Underworld: Blood Wars from Sony Pictures, which earned $13.1 million, enough for fourth place.
That’s far lower than the opening weekend of the last film in the franchise, Underworld: Awakening, which pulled in $25.3 million on its opening weekend in 2012.
The Kate Beckinsale film might be bombing in the United States, but it’s posting pretty solid international numbers with $44.5 million so far, according to The Numbers, led by $4.8 million from Brazil.
The animated musical Sing continue to stay strong at the box office, despite falling to third place. It earned $19.6 million, bringing its 19-day total to $213.4 million. The Universal Pictures film is expected to not only overtake Disney’s Moana on the 2016 domestic charts, but move into the top 10 and displace Doctor Strange, which had been there thanks to a $230.9 million run.
However, that’s likely all the further Sing will go on the charts, as No. 9 is Suicide Squad with a more insurmountable $325.1 million.
A Monster Calls has picked up solid reviews, but is struggling a bit at the box office with just over $2 million. It’s in less than half the theaters of Rogue One and Sing, but also has a weak per-theater performance of just $1,326 per screen, compared to even the $4,267 per screen generated by Blood Wars.
The top five films of the week earned $86.4 million, down from the $117.1 million from a year ago when the box office was led by The Force Awakens and The Revenant.
Next week should be a much more busy weekend for theaters as three studios plan to launch wide releases, led by Paramount Pictures’ animated/live-action hybrid film Monster Trucks.
So far, critics aren’t liking this lated animated offering, although Rotten Tomatoes has only surveyed just 18 critics to this point – and only four of them liked it.
That’s not surprising. Paramount has pushed the film back a few times, and even forced Paramount’s parent company, Viacom, to take a $115 million earnings writedown because of the problems with the film.
With both bad reviews (so far) and a not-so-cozy history along with a starring lineup that boasts only Rob Lowe and Danny Glover as any recognizable faces, we’ll have to wait and see how audiences respond.
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