Box-Office Preview: 'Patriots Day,' 'Hidden Figures' Tipped to Lead Crowded MLK Weekend

From left: 'Patriots Day,' 'Hidden Figures,' 'La La Land'

A number of other films are expanding or opening, including Golden Globe victor 'La La Land,' Martin Scorsese's 'Silence' and Paramount's 'Monster Trucks,' which prompted the studio to take a $115 million write-down even before it debuted.

It's looking like summer in January at the North American box office.

The long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend is always crowded, but this year is particularly jam-packed as three new films enter the fray — family film Monster Trucks, STX Entertainment's horror thriller The Bye Bye Man and Open Road's crime drama Sleepless — while a handful of other films expand nationwide, including Peter Berg's Boston marathon bombing drama Patriots Day, Martin Scorsese's Silence  and Ben Affleck's latest directorial outing, Live by Night.

If prerelease tracking is any indication, Patriots Day, starring Mark Wahlberg, and Hidden Figures will vie for the holiday crown with a four-day tally in the $20 million range. Last weekend, Fox 2000's Hidden Figures pulled off a coup by landing at No. 1, while Patriots Day from CBS Films and Lionsgate has been scoring strong numbers since its limited Christmas launch.

La La Land, however, could dance to a better-than-expected showing after scoring a record seven Golden Globe wins. The musical from Lionsgate should see a boost as it expands from roughly 1,500 theaters into 1,900 locations, including 100 Imax runs.

The weekend's two biggest question marks are Silence and Monster Trucks, both from Paramount. Silence has impressed in its limited debut but is expected to struggle as it ups its theater count to more than 750 screens. And even before it opened, Monster Trucks prompted the studio to take a $115 million write-down.

Another casualty of the weekend could be Live by Night, which has fared dismally in its limited launch for Warner Bros.