For the second weekend in a row, Hidden Figures is the No. 1 movie in America, earning $20.4 million over the weekend and causing Hollywood executives to call meetings to discuss how they could have underestimated the popularity of an uplifting prestige drama featuring familiar and beloved actors simply because its protagonists are neither white nor male.
It didn’t hurt, of course, that last week’s new wide releases were all about as exciting as a bowl of overcooked ramen noodles. There’s The Bye Bye Man, which actually turned out to be kind of a success at No. 4 with $13.4 million (nearly twice its $7.4 million production budget), outperforming analysts’ pessimistic predictions and once again proving the power of low expectations. Then we’ve got Monster Trucks, which made $10.5 million from parents not picky enough to wait for quality children’s fare but picky enough to not plop their offspring in front of The Bye Bye Man. Finally, there’s the Jamie Foxx vehicle Sleepless, which was not screened for critics and made a sleepy $8.4 million in its first weekend, landing it at No. 8.
Speaking of star power, the real winner this weekend was La La Land, which continues to build momentum both on the awards circuit and at the box office. Following its near-sweep of the Golden Globes the weekend before last, Damien Chazelle’s starry-eyed musical expended to an additional 333 theaters last week, including 148 IMAX locations. That resulted in a toe-tapping $14.5 million domestic weekend box-office haul, along with an additional $17.8 million internationally. Maybe Ryan Gosling can quit that touring gig with John Legend now?
Less successful in expanded release was Martin Scorsese’s Silence, which features exactly zero dance numbers and came in at No. 16 with $1.9 million after adding an additional 696 theaters last weekend. Ben Affleck’s Live By Night also hit wide release with not a bang, but a whisper, pulling in $5.09 million after adding a whopping 2,818 additional screens to the four where it opened at the end of last year. Patriots Day, meanwhile, seems to be the clear winner in this week’s Battle of the Boston Accents, finishing out its fourth weekend in theaters with $12 million after adding 3,113 screens, enough to propel it to No. 6 at the domestic box office. That’s a lot of chowdah.