Studio Weekend Estimates: ‘Rogue One’ & ‘Hidden Figures’ Neck-And-Neck For 1st Place w/ $21.9M, $21.8M; ‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ Underwhelms w/ $13.1M

Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story maintains the slightest edge over Fox’s Hidden Figures for the honor of weekend box office leader as of this writing, but the numbers remain close enough that the two titles could switch places when weekend actuals are released Monday afternoon. Hidden Figures earned more on Friday, but Rogue One earned more Saturday and is tentatively projected to lead on Sunday as well.

While previous installment Star Wars: The Force Awakens spent an impressive four consecutive weekends atop the box office in 2015-16, many doubted that Rogue One would be able to match — but it appears to have accomplished the feat. The movie made an estimated $21.97 million weekend after declining 55.7 percent, the sharpest drop among any film in this weekend’s top 10, yet has been earning so much that even with that steep fall it was able to contend for the top spot.

With $477.23 million total through 24 days, Rogue is running 8.4 percent of the $439.94 million inflation-adjusted total of 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and 41.2 percent behind the record-breaking $812.73 million that Force had earned through the same point. Rogue is also only $9.0 million away from overtaking the final gross of Finding Dory to become the highest-grossing release from 2016.

Just behind in a tentative second place — and as mentioned, perhaps the actual top film of the weekend when final numbers are revealed tomorrow — is Fox’s Hidden Figures. The true story of three African American women who overcame both racism and sexism to become key mathematicians and engineers for NASA’s 1960s missions stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae. After playing for the past two weekends in limited release while posting good $33,543 and $47,667 per-screen averages, the film expanded into wide release this weekend with an estimated $21.80 million. Helping the word of mouth were great reviews including a 93 percent average on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as rising Oscar buzz: online prediction odds now predict the film will receive a Best Picture nomination as well as a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Octavia Spencer, neither of which were predicted a few weeks ago.

Hidden Figures started with an estimated $7.57 million on Friday, including $1.2 million from Thursday evening shows, improved an estimated 17.4 percent to $8.90 million on Saturday, and is projected to decline 40.1 percent on Sunday to $5,325,000. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.87 to 1, a somewhat backloaded number indicating the film could have legs in subsequent weeks to come. Counting its time in limited release, the film has now earned $24.75 million total to date.

Coming in third place with an estimated $19.57 million was Universal’s Sing, which some forecasters had projected could even come in first place. After all, last frame the film came in second place with a weekend-over-weekend increase, while Rogue One came in first place with a decline. If similar numbers had continued into this weekend, with Sing experiencing a mild decline, it could have taken the crown — but instead it tumbled 54.4 percent.

A disappointing fourth place went to Sony’s sci-fi action sequel Underworld: Blood Wars with an estimated $13.10 million. Starring Kate Beckinsale, the title was the fifth installment in the series which dates back to 2003 — and possibly the last installment, considering it posted the lowest inflation-adjusted opening weekend and appears more than likely to notch the lowest cumulative total as well. It’s also the only installment to debut lower than second place.

Blood Wars starts 37.1 percent behind the series’ next-lowest opening, 2009’s Rise of the Lycans with $20.82 million. That’s also the lowest grossing of the four previous installments with $45.80 million, a figure that Blood Wars seems similarly unlikely to reach or even approach. Yet with a production budget half of the franchise’s previous installment, 2012’s Awakening, the film could still potentially turn a profit after all, when all is said and done.

Blood Wars opened to an estimated $4.82 million on Friday, improved an estimated 8.4 percent on Saturday to $5.22 million, and is projected to decline 41.6 percent on Sunday to $3.05 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.71 to 1. With several other sci-fi or action films coming out in the next few weekends, such as SleeplessxXx: The Return of Xander Cage, and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, expect Blood Wars to fade quickly.

Rounding out the top five was Lionsgate’s La La Land with an estimated $10.0 million. This marks the Best Picture frontrunner’s first weekend playing on more than a thousand theaters nationwide, more than doubling its theater count from last weekend to 1,515 screens from its previous 750. It also finally cracks the top five in weekend rank, after coming in 7th, 8th, and 7th the past three weekends. The only possible negative here is that its box office “only” improved 4.7 percent despite more than doubling its theater count. The movie has now earned $51.65 million to date.

Focus Features’ fantasty A Monster Calls debuted in a terrible 13th place with an estimated $2.01 million. While not a big surprise given its very meager $9,567 and $7,515 per-screen averages in limited release the past few weeks, it should still be considered a disappointment for Focus.

In limited release, Weinstein Company’s Lion earned an estimated $2.02 million weekend, down 11.1 percent; Fox Searchlight’s Jackie added an estimated $1.0 million, down 35.7 percent; and Silence expanded from 4 to 51 theaters — ahead of a yet-wider expansion to about 750 coming next weekend — with an estimated $480 thousand.

The top 10 films this weekend made an estimated $116.65 million total. That’s 29.8 percent below the $166.38 million earned by the top 10 last weekend, and 41.2 percent below the $198.53 million earned by the top 10 on this weekend last year, when Star Wars: The Force Awakens led for the third consecutive weekend with $90.24 million.

Overseas Update:

Rogue One made a huge estimated $56.6 million overseas weekend, up 23.6 percent, in 57 markets — the improvement due largely to its new opening in China where it made $31.0 million. With a $437.1 million overseas and $914.4 million global total, the film is nearing the billion-dollar market and could potentially reach that threshold next weekend. It now stands as the 5th-highest grossing global release from 2016, behind four other Disney releases, and stands a decent chance at eventually overtaking Captain America: Civil War with $1.153 billion to become the highest grossing global release from the year. Notable grosses to date include $73.7 million in the United Kingdom, $41.2 million in Germany, $33.2 million in France, $32.0 million in Australia, $31.4 million in Japan, and $31.0 million in China.

The other major international story this weekend is Fox’s Assassin’s Creed which earned a terrific estimated $45.4 million weekend, up more than double, in 68 markets, 20 of them new. Despite what’s considered to be a poor gross domestically, the film is doing brisk business overseas, perhaps helped by the plot’s European setting. With a $98.0 million overseas and $147.6 million global total, notable grosses include $12.9 million in France, $9.4 million in Russia, $6.8 million in the United Kingdom, and $6.5 million in Spain.

Studio Weekend Estimates for Friday, January 6 – Sunday, January 8, 2017:

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story $21,972,000 -56% 4,157 0 $5,286 $477,273,354 4 Disney
2 Hidden Figures $21,800,000 2440% 2,471 2446 $8,822 $24,754,178 3 Fox
3 Sing (2016) $19,570,000 -54% 3,955 -74 $4,948 $213,369,645 3 Universal
4 Underworld: Blood Wars $13,100,000 3,070 $4,267 $13,100,000 1 Sony / Screen Gems
5 La La Land $10,000,000 5% 1,515 765 $6,601 $51,656,587 5 Lionsgate / Summit
6 Passengers $8,800,000 -46% 3,400 -78 $2,588 $80,893,043 3 Sony / Columbia
7 Why Him? $6,500,000 -35% 2,904 -104 $2,238 $48,559,553 3 Fox
8 Moana $6,413,000 -42% 2,549 -226 $2,516 $225,394,182 7 Disney
9 Fences $4,700,000 -53% 2,368 67 $1,985 $40,663,264 4 Paramount
10 Assassin’s Creed $3,800,000 -56% 2,642 -354 $1,438 $49,505,783 3 Fox
11 Manchester By the Sea $2,473,985 -42% 1,054 -152 $2,347 $33,814,342 8 Roadside / Amazon
12 A Monster Calls $2,019,350 9485% 1,523 1519 $1,326 $2,110,842 3 Focus
13 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them $1,925,000 -53% 1,188 -654 $1,620 $229,181,573 8 Warner Bros.
14 Collateral Beauty $1,340,000 -68% 1,402 -1343 $956 $29,895,265 4 Warner Bros. / New Line

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Lion $2,021,000 -11% 600 75 $3,368 $9,813,719 7 Weinstein Company
2 Jackie $1,000,000 -36% 353 -6 $2,833 $9,196,551 6 Fox Searchlight
3 Arrival $815,000 -40% 381 -164 $2,139 $94,077,522 9 Paramount
4 Office Christmas Party $790,000 -78% 953 -1394 $829 $54,052,351 5 Paramount / DreamWorks
5 Trolls $430,000 -36% 332 -86 $1,295 $151,277,527 10 Fox / DreamWorks Animation
6 Moonlight (2016) $358,225 15% 135 -2 $2,654 $13,262,484 12 A24
7 Doctor Strange $330,000 -49% 263 -203 $1,255 $230,920,918 10 Disney
8 Hacksaw Ridge $205,000 -48% 222 -130 $923 $65,092,345 10 Lionsgate
9 Allied $80,000 -50% 121 -42 $661 $39,800,190 7 Paramount
10 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back $48,000 -40% 113 -20 $425 $58,675,114 12 Paramount

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Silence $480,000 476% 51 47 $9,412 $862,423 3 Paramount
2 20th Century Women $142,824 28% 10 6 $14,282 $395,412 2 A24
3 Railroad Tigers $127,600 43 $2,967 $127,600 1 Well Go USA Entertainment
4 The Eagle Huntress $113,297 -25% 94 -19 $1,205 $2,459,555 10 Sony Pictures Classics
5 Julieta $107,968 105% 17 10 $6,351 $353,788 3 Sony Pictures Classics
6 Patriots Day $105,000 -29% 7 0 $15,000 $870,414 3 CBS Films / Lionsgate
7 Nocturnal Animals $88,760 -54% 73 -85 $1,216 $10,429,064 8 Focus
8 Paterson $70,268 1% 7 3 $10,038 $221,960 2 Bleecker Street
9 Elle (2016) $50,492 -22% 36 1 $1,403 $1,018,387 9 Sony Pictures Classics
10 Loving $46,330 -37% 65 -16 $713 $7,591,432 10 Focus
11 Toni Erdmann $34,737 -13% 3 0 $11,579 $161,128 3 Sony Pictures Classics
12 Neruda $32,183 -2% 9 4 $3,576 $203,524 4 The Orchard
13 Live By Night $28,000 -24% 4 0 $7,000 $169,490 3 Warner Bros.
Jesse Rifkin

2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Fred January 08, 2017

    I think when official numbers come in tomorrow “Hidden Figures” might very well pull off the upset and win.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Delfra January 08, 2017

    I doubt ‘Rogue’ will overtake ‘Civil War’ in global box office take, that’s likely wishful thinking from your site based on your anticipated bloated predictions. With the film playing in all it’s market’s now there are no more new territories to receive additional box office boosts and the numbers are dropping at a faster pace than domestic. China is the key, I think ‘Rogue’ probably needs to reach at least 160-170 million in China in order to surpass CW’s global take and with a 31 million opening weekend in China there’s no way that’s going to happen. FA’s opened up to double of what ‘Rogue’ opened to in China and that film went on to gross 125 million in China, so ‘Rogue’ will probably end up between 85-110 million in China and probably around 1.1 billion worldwide in the end.

    Reply

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