U.S Box Office: ‘Hidden Figures’ Dominates Weekend
Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s “Hidden Figures” dominated the U.S box office, topping charts for the second straight weekend after earning $26 million. The film’s message of empowerment and triumph over prejudice was amplified by the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.
“This continues to be a movie for everyone,” said Chris Aronson, Fox’s head of domestic distribution. “It’s not just entertaining. It’s life affirming. It celebrates the triumph of the human spirit and that’s so important in these times.”
“Hidden Figures” is a latecomer to the awards season race, but the film, which stars Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer as African-American scientists and mathematicians in the early days of the space program, ranks as one of the most successful dramas of 2016. So far, it has earned $60.4 million. That commercial success could translate into Oscar attention when Academy Award nominations are announced next week.
It will likely face fierce competition from “La La Land,” a critically beloved movie musical with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Fresh off its sweep of the Golden Globe awards, “La La Land” sang and danced its way to $17.5 million over the holiday period, good enough for a third place finish. That brings the Lionsgate release’s domestic total to $77 million and more than $132 million globally. Not bad for an original musical that hit theaters without the benefit of being based on a beloved Broadway show.
The holiday weekend wasn’t as kind to a flood of new wide releases and expansions. Paramount’s “Monster Trucks” collapsed at the box office; the $125 million family film eked out a meagre $15 million over the four-day-long weekend. The studio had already ripped off the bandage. Last year, it took an $115 million write-down on “Monster Trucks” months before the film even hit theaters.
Ben Affleck didn’t have much to celebrate. The Oscar-winner was left licking his wounds after audiences rejected “Live by Night,” his expensive passion project. The $65 million drama was left inert after expanding from four theaters to 2,822 locations and only managing to make $6.1 million in the process. Affleck directed, wrote, produced, and starred in the film about a Florida rum runner, with Warner Bros. picking up the check. What audience there was for “Live by Night” was older — 69 percent of opening weekend ticket buyers clocked in over the age of 35.
Open Road’s “Sleepless” didn’t generate much enthusiasm from audiences. The action-thriller stars Jamie Foxx as a morally compromised cop. It made a lackluster $9.9 million, but the studio says it was able to cover its production costs entirely by selling distribution rights to foreign territories. It says “Sleepless” will be profitable.
In this box office pileup, STX’s “The Bye Bye Man” was somehow able to withstand the carnage. The low-budget horror film about a group of college students fending off a supernatural force rounded out the top five, earning a healthy $15.3 million, well above projections that had it opening to $10 million. It cost less than $8 million to produce.
Holdovers “Sing” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” took second and fourth place, respectively. “Sing,” an animated film about a talent competition for animals, earned $19.2 million, pushing its North American gross to $238.4 million. “Rogue One” added $17.1 million to its $502.2 million domestic haul. It is now the top-grossing domestic release of 2016.
Heading into the weekend, most analysts expected CBS Films and Lionsgate’s “Patriots Day” to make more of an impression. Reviewers have praised the story of the Boston Marathon Bombing for its intensity and for director Peter Berg’s attention to detail. It also did well in limited release. However, the film earned a disappointing $13.6 million after moving from seven theaters to 3,120 locations. That’s below estimates that had the film expanding to as much as $18 million. Audiences gave the film a rare A+ CinemaScore, so that could help it regain its stride in the weeks ahead. Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, and Kevin Bacon star as the cops and feds trying to figure out who is behind the deadly attack.
Then there’s “Silence,” a decades-in-the-making religious drama from Martin Scorsese that follows a pair of priests as they search for their mentor in feudal Japan. The film is a highly personal project for Scorsese and another one of his explorations of the limits and power of faith, following in the footsteps of “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Kundun.” This one appears to be too esoteric for mainstream audiences. “Silence” expanded from 51 theaters to 747 locations, earning $2.4 million for the long weekend. The $50 million film was financed independently. Paramount is distributing the picture.
Brent Lang, variety.com
Hidden Figures Tops U.S Box Office
Fox’s “Hidden Figures” has topped Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” by about $700,000 for the No. 1 spot at the North American box office, with $22.8 million at 2,471 sites, final figures showed Monday.
Sunday estimates had indicated that “Rogue One” was ahead by less than $200,000. But the comedy-drama “Hidden Figures” performed well ahead of those estimates on Sunday to deny “Rogue One” a fourth consecutive box office crown.
“Hidden Figures,” which follows a group of pioneering African-American women in the early days of the American space program, had been forecast last week to take in between $16 million and $18 million. Taraji P. Henson stars as Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who, along with her colleagues Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae), helps launch astronaut John Glenn into space.
The awards-season contender has a modest $25 million budget. Spencer was up for a Golden Globe in the supporting actress category on Sunday, but lost to Viola Davis (“Fences”). She’s also nominated for an individual and ensemble SAG Award.
Female customers dominated “Hidden Figures” business, comprising 64% of the audience. Fox domestic distribution chief Chris Aronson noted that “Hidden Figures” generated an A+ CinemaScore in all categories.
On Sunday, “Rogue One” performed about in line with projections and finished its fourth weekend with $22.1 million at 4,175 locations, lifting its domestic total past $477 million in its first 24 days. The eighth “Star Wars” movie is now the eighth-largest domestic grosser of all time, trailing “Finding Dory” by less than $10 million.
Dave McNary, variety.com
Kirsten Dunst To Topline Dark Comedy Series From George Clooney, Grant Heslov & ‘The Lobster’ Helmer In Works At AMC
AMC is developing On Becoming a God in Central Florida, a 1990s-set one-hour dark comedy series, which has Kirsten Dunst attached to star and executive produce. The project, to be directed by The Lobster helmer Yorgos Lanthimos, hails from George Clooney and Grant Heslov’s Smokehouse Pictures, Sony’s TriStar Television and AMC Studios.
Written by Robert Funke and Matt Lutsky based on a spec script they wrote, On Becoming a God in Central Florida is a darkly comedic story about the cult of free enterprise and one woman’s relentless pursuit of the American Dream in the early 1990s. Recently widowed and left with nothing, minimum-wage Orlando water park employee Krystal Gill (Dunst) lies, schemes and cons her way up the ranks of Founders American Merchandise — the cultish, flag-waving, multibillion-dollar pyramid scheme that drove her to ruin in the first place.
Funke, Lutsky, Dunst and Lanthimos executive produce alongside Oscar winners Clooney and Heslov (Argo) through Smokehouse Pictures. The project, in early development, will be overseen by Sarah Shepard for Smokehouse.
Spider-Man alumna Dunst recently starred in the second season of FX’s limited series Fargo, earning Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.
Funke, Lutsky, Lanthimos, and Smokehouse Pictures are repped by CAA. Dunst is repped by UTA and Management 360. Lanthimos is also repped by LBI and Matthew Bates. Funky & Lutsky are also repped by Peter Heller.
Nellie Andreeva, deadline.com
Hidden Figures In U.S Cinemas Today
“Hidden Figures” is on general release in U.S cinemas today. Don’t miss it!
Kirsten On The Late Late Show With James Corden Next Thursday
Kirsten will be a guest on next Thursdays edition of “The Late Late Show with James Corden”. Also appearing on the show will be actor Jamie Foxx & actress Zoe Saldana. The show will air on CBS at 12.37 am Eastern Time.
Three Critics Choice Awards Nominations for Hidden Figures
“Hidden Figures” has been nominated in three categories for the 22nd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards.
Janelle Monáe has been nominated in the “Best Supporting Actress category”, the cast have been nominated in the “Best Acting Ensemble” category, & Allison Schroeder & Theodore Melfi have been nominated in the “Best Adapted Screenplay” category.
The 22nd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards will be held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on December 11th.
You can view the full list of nominees here.
Hidden Figures Wins National Board of Review Best Ensemble Award
“Hidden Figures” has won the “Best Ensemble” award at the National Board of Review Awards.
You can view a list of all the winners here.
Hidden Figures International Poster
I’ve added the International Poster for “Hidden Figures” to the gallery.
The film goes on general release in the U.S on January 6th & on February 24th in the UK. There will also be a (very) limited release in the U.S on Christmas Day to qualify for awards season.
Here’s a list of worldwide release dates for the film.
Patricia Arquette, Bel Powley & Stacy Martin Join Kirsten Dunst’s Directorial Debut ‘The Bell Jar’
Patricia Arquette, Bel Powley and Stacy Martin have joined Dakota Fanning and Jesse Plemons in the movie adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar,” which will be Kirsten Dunst’s directorial debut.
Cornerstone Films has launched foreign sales at the American Film Market. The film is going into production in early 2017.
Fanning is playing the lead role of Esther Greenwood in the film, based on Plath’s 1963 novel. Plemons will portray the Lenny Shepherd character.
Dunst has adapted the script with Nellie Kim.
Priority Pictures optioned remake rights from Studio Canal. “The Bell Jar” was made into a feature film in 1979.
Priority’s Lizzie Friedman, Karen Lauder, and Greg Little will produce alongside Fanning and Echo Lake Entertainment’s Brittany Kahan. Celine Rattray and Dunst are executive producing.
In the book, Greenwood takes an internship at a magazine in New York City, and then begins to suffer a mental breakdown when she returns home to Boston. The novel is the only book ever published by Plath, who committed suicide in 1963.
Arquette won a supporting actress Oscar for “Boyhood.” Powley starred in “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” and Martin starred in “Nymphomaniac.”
Arquette is represented by the Gersh Agency and 3 Arts Entertainment. Powley is repped by UTA, The BWH Agency and Authentic Talent and Literary Management. Martin is repped by WME, 42 West, and Greg Slewett as her attorney.
Dave McNary, variety.com
Production Begins on Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Beguiled’
Production has begun in Louisiana on writer/director Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Beguiled’, which reteams the filmmaker with Focus Features. Focus holds worldwide rights to the film as part of the company’s renewed global initiative. Focus will release The Beguiled domestically in select cities on June 23rd, 2017 in the U.S., with an expansion on June 30th, 2017; and Universal Pictures International (UPI) will distribute the film globally, beginning in the summer of 2017.
Ms. Coppola’s screenplay is an adaptation of Thomas Cullinan’s novel of the same name. Golden Globe Award winner Colin Farrell (In Bruges), Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours), Emmy Award nominee Kirsten Dunst (making her fourth movie with Ms. Coppola), and Critics’ Choice Award nominee Elle Fanning (making her second movie with Ms. Coppola) lead the cast of The Beguiled.
The Beguiled unfolds in a girls’ school in the state of Virginia in 1864. As the Civil War rages, The Miss Martha Farnsworth Seminary for Young Ladies has been sheltered from the outside world- until the day a wounded Union soldier is discovered nearby and taken in.
Oona Laurence (who starred on Broadway in Matilda and on-screen in Pete’s Dragon, Bad Moms, and Southpaw) and Emma Howard (Transparent) have joined the cast with Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys) and Addison Riecke (The Thundermans).
Anne Ross is production designer on The Beguiled, marking her fifth collaboration with Ms. Coppola. The film’s costume designer is Stacey Battat, marking her fourth collaboration with Ms. Coppola. The director of photography on The Beguiled is Academy Award nominee Philippe Le Sourd (The Grandmaster), and the movie is being shot on 35mm film.
Ms. Coppola’s previous movies with Focus as writer/director and producer were Lost in Translation, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was additionally nominated in the Best Picture and Best Director Oscar categories; and Somewhere, starring Ms. Fanning, which won the Golden Lion Award at the 2010 Venice International Film Festival.
Focus chairman Peter Kujawski commented, “It is personally and professionally a pleasure to be making a movie with Sofia Coppola again. The twisted turns of the story, combined with Sofia’s empathy for the characters being portrayed by these gifted actors, will keep audiences in suspense. Everyone at Focus is thrilled to be bringing The Beguiled to theaters next summer.”