Weekend Box Office: 'Hidden Figures' Wins Friday for Close Race With 'Rogue One,' 'Sing'
Elsewhere, 'Underworld: Blood Wars' opens in fourth place, while 'La La Land' moves up to No. 5 as it makes a major push on the eve of Sunday's Golden Globes ceremony.
Theodore Melfi's biographical drama Hidden Figures won the Friday box office as it expanded nationwide, earning a strong $7.6 million from 2,471 theaters and nabbing a coveted A+ CinemaScore.
The movie — starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as real-life African-American mathematicians who helped NASA put a man into space — is tipped to earn $21 million for the weekend, ahead of expectations.
That puts Hidden Figures, from Fox 2000 and Chernin Entertainment, in a close race with holdovers Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Sing for the weekend crown, although a winter storm on the Eastern seaboard is making modeling difficult.
Coming in ahead of expectations, Hidden Figures is expanding this weekend after opening in 25 locations on Christmas Day. The $25 million movie has earned several awards nominations, including a Golden Globes best supporting actress nom for Spencer.
Rogue One grossed $6 million Friday from 4,157 locations for a dazzling domestic total of $461.4 million. Universal and Illumination's animated musical film Sing placed No. 3, grossing $5.1 million from 2,471 theaters as it prepares to jump the $200 million mark domestically. Box-office observers show the two films earning anywhere from $21 million-$23 million for the weekend.
Elsewhere, Screen Gems' Underworld: Blood Wars, the fifth installment in the vampire hunter series, is headed towards a subdued opening of $13 million from 3,070 theaters after grossing an estimated $5 million on Friday.
Directed by Anna Foerster, the film stars Kate Beckinsale and Theo James, and follows Selene (Beckinsale) as she fights to end the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. Blood Wars, placing no. 4, earned a B+ CinemaScore.
Costing a net $35 million to make, Blood Wars has already earned $45 million internationally with numerous major markets still to open.
Rounding out the top five in North America is Lionsgate's La La Land, which is making a major push on the eve of Sunday's Globe ceremony. Upping its theater count from 750 to 1,515 theaters, the musical moved up to No. 5 on Friday, earning $3.1 million for a projected $10 million weekend and impressive domestic total of nearly $52 million through Sunday.
La La Land, starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, is nominated for seven Globes, including best picture in the musical and comedy category.
Jan. 7, 7:30 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers and revised weekend projections.