We were braced for a big upheaval at the box office this weekend. A trio of fresh new movies hit theaters, and a handful of others, Oscar hopes still in tow, moved from the cozy enclaves of New York and Los Angeles and expanded wide across the country. Some serious turnover in the box office’s Top Five was all but assured, right?
Wrong! Despite a bevy of new options available over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, moviegoers preferred the tried and true, sending last week’s champion, Hidden Figures, back into the winner’s circle.
Hidden, the ever-so-inspirational tale of three African American women overturning the status quo and helping the United States space program find its footing, found its own solid ground, banking an estimated $20.8 million to land at No. 1 for the second straight weekend. Add in the $5.2 million the movie was expected to pull on Monday, and Hidden’s figures rise to a tidy $26 mil. Sure, maybe it’s not exactly a moon shot, but the film certainly found itself in rarified air.
Golden Globe darling La La Land tap-danced its way into second place with a $14.5 million weekend take, bringing its four-week run (most of it in an extremely limited number of theaters) to a tidy $74.1 million. Now that’s something to sing about.
In fact movie fans were in a musical mood. The animated tunefest Sing collected $13.8 million and beat out The Bye Bye Man, the weekend’s sole Top Five newcomer, for the bronze medal. The Bye Bye Man, meanwhile, collected $13.5 million for fourth place, suggesting that the horror flick may be saying bye bye to the Top Five next week.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, managed to finish inside the Top Five for yet another weekend, mopping up another $13.4 million. Add in Monday’s holiday estimates ($3.8 million), and Rogue One crossed over the $500 million mark for its run (its total gross stands at $502.2 million). Moreover, it became 2016’s highest money earner, blasting past Finding Dory ($486.3 million) for the honors.
So, just where were all the ballyhooed newcomers, then? Farther down the charts, of course. Patriots Day, the Mark Wahlberg drama that expanded from seven theaters to more than 3,000, finished sixth, earning a paltry $12 million. The debuts of Monster Trucks and Sleepless fared even worse, earning just $10.1 million and $8.3 million, respectively, to finish seventh and eighth. Didn’t take long for that new movie smell to wear off. Live by Night, Ben Affleck’s gangster drama, expanded wide, but managed only an abysmal $5.1 million to land with a thud at No. 11.
Clearly, it could’ve used a dance number.