2017 Kicks Off with Tight Race for #1 Between 'Rogue One' and 'Hidden Figures'
Domestic weekend estimates are in, but the full story won't be told until actuals arrive Monday afternoon as the top two films are within a mere fraction of one another as severe winter weather had a clear effect on this weekend's grosses. For the time being Rogue One: A Star Wars Story holds the top spot over Fox's expanded release of Hidden Figures by less than $200,000. The weekend's lone new wide release, Screen Gems's Underworld: Blood Wars, scored a fourth place finish while Focus's expansion of A Monster Calls failed to generate much interest despite strong reviews and audience response, ultimately finishing outside the top ten.

Currently holding the #1 spot for the weekend is Disney's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which dropped 55.7% and finished with an estimated $21.97 million as its domestic cume climbs to $477.2 million, placing it just $9 million behind Finding Dory as it is soon to become the highest grossing release of 2016.

In addition to its domestic gross, Rogue One added another $56.6 million internationally this weekend from 57 markets bringing its overseas total to $437.1 million for a global cume of $914.4 million. This places Rogue One ahead of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and The Secret Life of Pets making it the fifth largest worldwide release of 2016, giving Walt Disney Studios the top five global releases for 2016.

Of that international haul this weekend, Rogue One opened in its last international territory this weekend, China, where it brought in an estimated $31 million for the three-day, only 61% of Star Wars: The Force Awakens' two-day opening weekend. Nevertheless it was the #1 film in China this weekend, pulling in an estimated 56% market share.

As for Rogue One's #1 finish, we'll have to wait until actuals come in to see if it holds up as Rogue One's lead over current second place finisher, Hidden Figures, is a mere $172,000 and rival studios currently place Hidden Figures at #1.

Hidden Figures expanded nationwide this weekend into 2,471 theaters (+2,446) and finished with an impressive $21.8 million. One factor contributing to the questions surrounding not only its weekend gross, but the weekend gross for all films in release, is several theaters in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Virginia and parts of the Deep South either closed early yesterday or shut down completely as a result of severe winter weather. Nevertheless, Hidden Figures is off to an excellent start and its future looks bright after receiving an "A+" CinemaScore from Friday audiences and a 5/5 from PostTrak. The films demographic breakdown as 64% female vs. 36% male with 56% of the audience coming in under the age of 35. Additionally, 43% of the audience was Caucasian, 37% African American and 13% Hispanic.

Finishing in third place and perhaps the film that looks to have been the most affected by the winter storm is Universal and Illumination's Sing, bringing in an estimated $19.57 million. After Friday estimates it was looking like Sing could bring in as much as $25 million this weekend, which only means next weekend's holds for the top three could make for a very good, extended Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. Sing's domestic cume currently stands at $213.3 million and with an additional $26.4 million coming in internationally this weekend its global cume is now $356.87 million.

In fourth we find Screen Gems' Underworld: Blood Wars, which finished with an estimated $13.1 million domestically from 3,070 theaters. This is the lowest opening for any film in the Underworld franchise, including 2009's Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Yet, it did manage a "B+" CinemaScore and with the winter storm affecting the overall box office it could deliver a decent hold next weekend. The studio has yet to report international grosses for Blood Wars as of publication of this article.

GET MORE: Compare all five Underworld films!

Rounding out the top five is Lionsgate's La La Land with an estimated $10 million as its domestic cume climbs to $51.6 million ahead of tonight's Golden Globe Awards where it looks to take home a few top level awards in the Musical/Comedy division including Best Picture and Actress and Actor for its two leads, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. The film will continue to expand next weekend, including opening in select IMAX locations.

Finishing outside the top ten in its expansion weekend is Focus' A Monster Calls, which expanded into 1,523 theaters and brought in an estimated $2 million. Commenting on the film's performance, Lisa Bunnell, President Distribution for Focus said, "While we're a little disappointed with the expansion this weekend, the CinemaScore (A), exit polls and reviews are all strong. There's certainly a passionate audience that we hope can grow the film over the coming weeks. J.A. Bayona is one of the world's most visionary filmmakers and has made an emotional, visually spectacular film with beautiful performances."

Also expanding this weekend ahead of its nationwide expansion next weekend was Martin Scorsese's Silence, which played in 51 theaters (+47) and brought in an estimated $480,000 ($9,412 per theater). The film will be heading into approximately 750 theaters next weekend.

The second of next weekend's wide expansions is Ben Affleck's Live by Night, which has had a tough go in limited release. The film has so far brought in just $170,000 from four theaters after 15 days in release and is looking to release in 2,700+ theaters next weekend. At this point we'll be looking to 2013's Gangster Squad and its $17 million January opening as a bar for comparison.

Finally, the last of next weekend's expansions, and the one that seems to be making the most of its limited release, is Peter Berg's Patriots Day which has played in the same seven locations in New York, Los Angeles and Boston since its release 19 days ago and has so far amassed $870,414. It too was affected by the winter weather this weekend and as for next weekend it will be heading into ~2,900 theaters with early tracking suggesting a three-day performance anywhere from $15-20 million.

Otherwise, next weekend also features the wide release of STX's horror feature The Bye Bye Man in ~2,300 theaters, Open Road's Sleepless in ~2,000 theaters and Paramount's Monster Trucks, which is already looking like the first bomb of the year after the studio took a $115 million write-down on the feature last September.

For a look at this weekend's estimated results click here and we'll be updating the charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.

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