In what's shaping up to be a highly competitive holiday weekend at the box office, 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment's "Hidden Figures" has the No. 1 spot, just three days in. If it holds, it will be the reigning film for the second week in a row.
The film, based on a true story about black women at NASA who were integral to the Space Race, brought in an estimated $20.5 million in the U.S. and Canada during the traditional three-day weekend. The studio is projecting that the film, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, will end the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend with $25.3 million. "Hidden Figures" is set to hit $60 million domestically by Monday.
Lionsgate's musical "La La Land" took second, expanding to more than 1,800 screens (including almost 148 Imax screens) in its sixth week in release. The Emma Stone-Ryan Gosling love story and ode to Los Angeles pulled in $14.5 million in three days. On the heels of the movie's sweep of all seven of the Golden Globes it was nominated for last week, the studio is projecting a four-day gross of $17.5 million. If this holds, the estimated domestic gross for the film will be $77.1 million.
Landing in third was Universal's "Sing," in its fourth week. The animated musical garnered $13.8 million through Sunday. The studio is projecting $18.5 million through Monday. To date, the film has pulled $237.7 million domestically.
Lucasfilm-Disney's "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" landed in fourth in its fifth week with an estimated $13.8 million over three days. It's projected to pull in $17.2 million over the four-day weekend. The picture is on its way to the coveted $1-billion mark, with $980 million in ticket sales worldwide.
Faring the best of the new releases was STX Entertainment's "The Bye Bye Man" which landed in the fifth spot. Over-performing tracking predictions, the thriller pulled $13.4 million through Sunday. It is expected to creep past $15 million over the full holiday, which would be more than double its $7.4-million production budget.
Audiences (61% females; 75% under 25) and critics appear split of the picture. Although moviegoers gave it a B CinemaScore, it has a 27% Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Following its successful three-week limited run in seven theaters, CBS Films and Lionsgate's "Patriots Day" expanded to more than 3,000 locations. Starring Mark Wahlberg, the retelling of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing story took in $12 million for the three-day weekend, landing in sixth place. Analysts project the holiday weekend could end with it pulling in a total of $18 million to $20 million.
The film from Peter Berg seems to be an audience and critics favorite. It received a rare A-plus CinemaScore rating and has a 79% Rotten Tomatoes score.
Big flops came in the form of new releases "Live By Night," from Warner Bros., and "Monster Trucks," from Paramount. "Live," which was written and directed by and stars Ben Affleck, expanded nationwide following a three-week limited run. Based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, the Prohibition-era crime thriller will likely fail to meet analyst projections of $10 million during the four-day weekend. It only brought in $5.4 million through Sunday. "Live By Night," which cost an estimated $65 million to make, has been hampered by poor reviews.
"Monster Trucks" pulled in $10.5 million in its three-day debut. But the film was produced for a massive $125 million. This makes the movie, about a teenager whose truck is inhabited by a tentacled, computer-animated monster, an early 2017 dud for the studio. Still, it will beat analyst projections of $8 million to $10 million for the entire weekend. The studio is projecting $14.1 million.
Also opening was "Sleepless" from Open Road. Starring Jamie Foxx, it amassed $8.5 million over the three-day weekend. If projections hold, it will meet analyst expectations of $10 million over four days.