Wed | Oct 28, 2020

'Hidden Figures' adds up the cash

Published:Monday | January 16, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson with male actors in a scene from Hidden Figures.
Kevin Bacon (standing, left), Mark Wahlberg (standing, centre) and John Goodman appear in a scene from Patriots Day.
Ryan Gosling (right) and Emma Stone in a scene from La La Land.
Kate Beckinsale must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires in Underworld: Blood Wars.


Labours of love, one from Martin Scorsese, the other from Ben Affleck, proved costly at a casualty-strewn weekend box office where the uplifting NASA drama Hidden Figures stayed on top for the second straight week.

Hidden Figures, about African-American mathematicians in the 1960s space race, sold a leading US$20.5 million in tickets in North American cinemas over the Martin Luther King Jr Day holiday weekend, according to estimates on Sunday. Fox anticipates the film, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae, will make US$25.3 million when yesterday is included, bringing its cumulative total to about US$60 million.

The weekend was more remarkable for what didn't work than what did. Both Affleck's period gangster thriller Live by Night and Scorsese's Christian epic Silence bombed in their wide-release debuts. Warner Bros' Live by Night, adapted from Dennis Lehane's novel, earned a mere US$5.4 million in 2,471 cinemas. Paramount's Silence, from Susaku Endo's novel of 17th-century Jesuit priests in Japan, took in US$1.9 million in 747 cinemas.

Both were high-profile projects that each film-maker used their considerable sway to get made.

The most costly flop may have been Paramount's family film Monster Trucks. It earned US$10.5 million over the three-day weekend. Viacom took a US$115 million write-down late last year on the movie, which cost US$125 million to make. It was a rare admission, well before its release, that Monster Trucks would bomb.

The surprise success was the supernatural thriller The Bye Bye Man from STX Entertainment. With some help from Friday the 13th on the calendar, the low-budget horror flick made $13.4 million.

Following are the estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at US and Canadian theatres, according to comScore.

1. Hidden Figures, US$20.5m

2. La La Land, US$14.5m (US$17.8m international)

3. Sing, $13.8m ($13.2m international)

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, US$13.8m (US$21.9m international)

5. The Bye Bye Man, US$13.4m (US$1.3m international)

6. Patriots Day, US$12m (US$1.3m international)

7. Monster Trucks, US$10.5m (US$4m international)

8. Sleepless, US$8.5m

9. Underworld: Blood Wars, US$5.8m (US$1.4m international)

10. Passengers, US$5.6m (US$32.5m international)