The winter holidays may be over, but Hollywood is still hoping to capture a little bit more of their residual glow as it heads into January.
Fox’s “Hidden Figures,” Sony’s “Underworld: Blood Wars,” and Focus Features’ “A Monster Calls” will all try to lure moviegoers to the multiplexes this weekend. Despite the influx of new blood, some familiar films are likely to top box office charts. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Sing” will be in a tight race for first place. Both films could end their weekend with $25 million in receipts. “Rogue One” recently crossed the $800 million mark globally and its domestic total stands at $439.7 million. It will debut in China over the weekend, the only major market where it has yet to screen. Most analysts expect it will eventually cross $1 billion worldwide — becoming the fourth Disney release from 2016 to hit that number.
It’s not the only movie that rang in 2017 on a high note. “Sing,” the latest collaboration from the “Despicable Me” team of Illumination Entertainment and Universal, has been the de facto choice for family audiences over Christmas and New Year’s. So far, the animated hit has generated $180 million stateside and should cross $200 million by the end of the week.
That’s not to say the newbies are looking weak. “Hidden Figures,” a drama about a group of African-American mathematicians and scientists who lent their expertise to the early days of America’s space program, has been a force in limited release. It has grossed $2.6 million from just 25 locations. Tracking is strong on this one, and “Hidden Figures” should pull in between $16 million to $18 million when it moves to roughly 2,400 locations. Some rival studios think it could go even higher. No matter where it lands, “Hidden Figures” is shaping up to be a win for the studio, given its modest $25 million budget. The film’s cast includes Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Kevin Costner, and the marketing materials have leaned heavily on several new Pharrell Williams songs.
“Underworld: Blood Wars,” the fifth entry in the ongoing saga of a spandex-sporting vampire badass, is eyeing a $15 million debut. The franchise has racked up more than $500 million globally and the films tend to play well overseas. Kate Beckinsale returns as Selene, the toothsome exterminator who drives the films. The latest “Underworld” cost $35 million to produce.
That leaves “A Monster Calls,” a fantasy drama about a boy who deals with his mother’s illness with the help of a giant. The film hasn’t really resonated with awards voters and hasn’t made a lot of noise in limited release, but reviews have been strong. It should pull in less than $10 million when it moves to approximately 1,500 locations. J. A. Bayona, who will oversee the next “Jurassic Park” film, directs, with Felicity Jones, Sigourney Weaver, and Liam Neeson heading up the cast.