A major winter storm that shut down major parts of the East Coast seems to have had a big impact on the weekend’s box office. It didn’t hurt that in a slow first weekend of the year, one of the season’s buzziest dramas also got a big expansion onto 2,471 screens (up from 25) taking it right to the top of the chart. Oscar hopeful Hidden Figures just barely nudged Rogue One out of the top spot by less than $800,000 with $22.8 million. The 2,557% increase took it from Number 17 to Number 1, and a three week domestic total of $25.7 million.
Rogue One and Sing both dropped one space to make room for the new champ with the former resting at Number 2 with $22 million (after a 55.5% drop from last week), and the latter landing at Number 3 with $20.7 million (dropping 52%). In its fourth week, Rogue One has amassed $477.3 million domestically and $437.1 million overseas for a $914.4 million global gross. It is not outside the realm of possibility for this to be the first film of the year to top $1 billion worldwide (or the last film of 2016 to do such depending on how you look at it). Sing‘s domestic total after three weeks is $214.5 million with a worldwide gross of $358.3 million. It still has a long way to go to top Illumination’s last animated hit The Secret Life of Pets which earned $875.4 million globally.
One newcomer made its way to the Top Ten this week as Underworld: Blood Wars took the Number 4 spot with $13.6 million, the lowest opening for any film in the franchise (and most likely impacted by the weather). The film did earn decent scores from audiences so it could bounce back next week barring any more bad weather. In foreign markets, the film earned $45.2 million for a worldwide gross of nearly $59 million. Not bad for a $35 million movie.
La La Land moved up two spots to Number 5 with $10.1 million (+6%) as it expanded onto 765 more screens. After winning big at the Golden Globes over the weekend, the film should see a substantial boost in the coming week as it expands and opens in select IMAX theaters. A Monster Calls went from 4 to 1,523 screens and saw its box office grow by 9,773.5%, moving from Number 47 to Number 12 with $2 million.
Further outside of the Top Ten, several high profile films waiting to go wide scored impressively. IN its third week on just seven screens, Patriots Day actually dropped 29% and moved four spots down to Number 30 with $104,803, but it has the highest per screen average of the Top 50 films with $14,972. The second highest average goes to 20th Century Women now on ten screens. It moved up three spots to Number 26 with $130,367 and a per screen average of $13,047. Paterson moved on to 7 screens but held fast at Number 35 in its second week with $71,438, giving it a per screen average of $10,205. By comparison, Hidden Figures‘ average on 2,471 screens was $9,227.
The weekend of January 13 is sure to shake things up with several high profile limited release films going wide, including Ben Affleck’s Live By Night, Patriots Day and Martin Scorsese’s Silence expanding to 750 screens. In addition, The Bye Bye Man, Monster Trucks and Sleepless all open on 2,000 or more screens. It will be a battle to see if buzz, awards and weather help stir the Top Ten pot.
Below are the Top Ten actual numbers for the weekend of January 6.
4. [N] Underworld: Blood Wars – $13,688,751 [NEW]
9.  Fences – $4,813,606 [$40,776,870]
10.  Assassin’s Creed – $4,178,643 [$49,884,426]
[#] Last week’s position. [N] New in theaters. ★ HOTCHKA review | Source: Box Office Mojo