Weekend Forecast: ‘Underworld: Blood Wars,’ ‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘A Monster Calls’

2016 is over. 2017 is now underway. At the box office, the year starts with Sony’s science-fiction sequel Underworld: Blood Wars opening, along with the wide expansions of Fox’s period drama Hidden Figures and Focus Features’ fantasy A Monster Calls, which have been playing on 25 and 4 screens this past weekend respectively.

In addition, La La Land doubles from 750 to about 1,500 theaters, though with a 7th place finish at this past weekend’s box office it’s already been doing well enough that we won’t discuss it in our Weekend Forecast here.

Underworld: Blood Wars (Sony / Screen Gems)

PROS:

  • The fifth installment in the Underworld franchise, second installment Evolution made $62.3 million in January 2006, third Rise of the Lycans earned $45.8 million in January 2009, and fourth Awakening took $62.3 million in January 2012. You’ll notice those were all January releases, and Blood Wars hopes to continue that successful trend.

CONS:

  • The two most recent Underworld installments were also the two lowest-grossing ones, adjusted for inflation, indicating that the franchise might be losing steam among audiences. (That being said, both of those films still did well enough to greenlight sequels.) And the sci-fi audience might be partially taken away by the continuing strong box office holds of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Passengers, which came in first and third place this past weekend.

Hidden Figures (Fox)

PROS:

  • The film tells the little-known story of three African American women whose science and mathematics skills made largely-unheralded contributions to the fledgling NASA missions in the 1960s. Since the movie’s limited release opening on Christmas Day Sunday in only 25 theaters, it’s done very well at the box office, taking in $1.19 million for this past 4-day weekend for a $47,677 per-theater average, the highest of any film in release last weekend. Plus Hidden has been steadily rising in the Oscar buzz.

CONS:

  • Can this break out to become a hit with the general public rather than just a niche? And audience as a rule almost always prefer escapism to reality, so a reality-based space movie be able to overtake Rogue One or Passengers, two escapism-based space movies also doing well right now.

A Monster Calls (Focus Features)

PROS:

  • The fantasy about a giant tree that comes to life was originally scheduled for an October weekend that was set to be the single most crowded one of 2016, but then they moved the title to January. Probably a smart move from a box office perspective, as it would have had to compete against Jack Reacher: Never Go BackBoo! A Madea HalloweenOuija: Origin of Evil, and Keeping Up with the Joneses. Although none of those were direct competition by genre, the first two both earned at least $22 million on their opening weekend, a mark that both of Monster‘s new competitors seem unlikely to reach.

CONS:

  • Focus Features had a lackluster track record in 2016 with their films aimed at a family audience, with Kubo and the Two Strings earning a fair $48.0 million and Ratchet & Clank earning only $8.8 million. Plus the last film with the premise of “child is visited in the night by a mysterious giant monster” was this summer’s The BFG, which was one of the biggest box office busts of director Steven Spielberg’s entire career. And its per-theater average hasn’t been nearly as strong as Hidden Figures, with only $7,515 per screen this past weekend.

Boxoffice Pro predicts the top 10 films this weekend will earn a cumulative $147,180,000. That’s 25.86 percent below the $198.53 million earned by the 10 films on this weekend last year, when Star Wars: The Force Awakens led for the third consecutive weekend with $90.24 million. It’s also 11.5 percent below the $166.37 million earned by the top 10 films on last weekend’s 3-day.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A Monster Calls was mistakenly excluded from the chart when this article was published. Our official weekend prediction for the film is $2.3 million.

Check out the official Boxoffice Pro weekend forecast in the table below.

Title Distributor Weekend estimate Estimated total through Sunday, January 8 % change from last weekend
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Disney $29,000,000 $485,870,000 -41.54%
Sing Universal $25,500,000 $221,530,000 -40.55%
Hidden Figures Fox $21,000,000 $23,900,000 2346.90%
Underworld: Blood Wars Sony / Screen Gems $13,500,000 $13,500,000 new
La La Land Lionsgate/Summit $12,000,000 $53,250,000 25.61%
Passengers (2016) Sony / Columbia $11,310,000 $83,760,000 -30.01%
Moana Disney $8,790,000 $228,130,000 -20.00%
Fences Paramount $7,530,000 $43,690,000 -25.01%
Why Him? Fox $7,030,000 $49,150,000 -30.04%
Assassin’s Creed Fox $5,210,000 $51,190,000 -39.96%
Manchester by the Sea Roadside Attractions $3,400,000 $34,580,000 -19.89%
Collateral Beauty Warner Bros. (New Line) $2,910,000 $31,600,000 -30.07%

Shawn Robbins, Jesse Rifkin, and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

Boxoffice Staff

13 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Ari Gold January 04, 2017

    I really feel like Hidden Figures will pull the upset and take the top spot this weekend. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Rogue One fell to third. The top three will be very close. I could also see Hidden Figures holding strong next weekend during MLK weekend, which could put a dent in Patriots Day. I’m hoping Underworld does more than what is predicted, but I doubt it.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Kari January 05, 2017

      FA drop 53% at this point, wonder too why they expect such a good hold for R1? I think Sing will be number 1 this weekend, but it will be quite tight race.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Taylor January 05, 2017

        What is FA?

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Ed January 05, 2017

          You are culeless fool

          Reply
  2. Avatar
    Ikaika Tilton January 04, 2017

    Where is the projection for A Monster Calls?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Doris January 04, 2017

      Clearly they expect it to bomb and miss the top twelve altogether. Which to be honest, is accurate. A PG-13 rated fantasy film about a bullied kid with a mother dying from cancer and a living tree doesn’t sound like box office success. Add to the fact it did poor to modestly internationally, and the film isn’t going to be a success in any sense. Perhaps at the home market, it will find a cult audience. But as for the box office, I’m not surprised it was dumped in January, to fester with a sub $5 million cumulative domestic gross. The film may very well be a great film, but still that won’t change that this is a box office flop.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Cinema Gulp January 05, 2017

        Plus, its just not as good as it should have been. It doesn’t pack the emotional punch the way its trailers make it seem. So you are right. Without it being good enough for oscar talk, its pretty much screwed.

        Reply
      • Avatar
        Leighton Carter January 05, 2017

        That’s a shame as I’ve just seen it and it’s terrific. It’s a curious gem in that it’s too adult for the young and seemingly too young for the old (although it’s not). However It’s one if the best films out there and deserves more.

        Reply
      • Avatar
        Kaustav January 05, 2017

        A flop in USA to be more precise. The film has already earned 27 million $ in Spain alone and a total of 30 in a few other small European markets. Considering it has a budget of around 20 and the glowing reviews (90% fresh in RT) could make it leggy stateside, it will probably turn into a decent hit.

        Reply
    • Avatar
      Don't Mind Me Now January 04, 2017

      Below the top 12. Not surprising, considering its horrible performance in limited release. We’re likely looking at another Billy Lynn debacle here, albeit without the special circumstances of that film.

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    Sherman Willis January 04, 2017

    Yeah where is a monster calls? I feel like it should make $5-7 million at least

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Brian de Castro January 05, 2017

    Why are you referring to Underworld: Blood Wars as a science fiction film? It doesn’t necessarily take place in the future, nor does it have a sci-fi gadgets. This, like all its predecessors, is an action/horror film. Vampires, werewolves-those are iconic horror creatures, not science fiction. And the subtitle Blood Wars alone denotes horror and action. This is a great month for horror, with a major release every week, right up to another horror/action franchise in Resident Evil.

    Reply
  5. Avatar
    navtej singh January 07, 2017

    why do keep inflating rogue one’s weekend week after week, how are you in this business, you should subtract 20-30% of your estimate each weekend, same was your problem with civil war

    Reply

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