The 2017 Martin Luther King holiday weekend is proving to be a wild ride at the box office, where Hidden Figures is looking like the easy winner while several high-profile titles already appear DOA, according to early returns.
In the latter category is Martin Scorsese's period epic Silence, which may only clear $2 million for the four-day holiday weekend from 747 screens after costing $50 million to make. Ben Affleck is another high-profile director with a big miss on his hands, Live by Night. The gangster film, with a net budget of $65 million, is projected to gross $7.5 million-$9.5 million from 2,822 theaters for the four days. (Both films are expanding nationwide Friday after opening in select cinemas during the year-end holidays.)
Monster Trucks, the ill-fated family film from Paramount, is likewise DOA with a projected four-day gross of $10 million-$13 million from 3,111 locations. In late 2016, Viacom took a $115 million write down for the $125 million movie in advance of its launch, a highly unusual move.
Hidden Figures, the biographical drama about three black female NASA mathematicians who helped put the first men into space, continues to impress. From Fox 2000 and Chernin Entertainment, the movie narrowly won the race last weekend with $22.8 million and is now looking at a $24 million-$25 million haul from 3,288 theaters for the four-day holiday.
Other winners of the weekend look to be Pete Berg's Boston Marathon bombing drama Patriots Day, starring Mark Wahlberg. The CBS Films and Lionsgate release, which also is expanding Friday after a limited run, is projected to gross $15 million-$17 million from 3,120 locations, potentially putting it in a close race with holdover Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
And don't count Golden Globe victor La La Land out of the mix. Lionsgate's musical is expanding into 1,848 theaters Friday, including roughly 100 Imax runs, and is projected to gross anywhere from $14 million-$17 million.
The long Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend always is crowded.
STX Entertainment's new horror thriller The Bye Bye Man looks to be on solid footing with a projected $13 million-$15 million weekend from 2,220 cinemas, while Open Road's crime drama Sleepless is expected to post a more subdued opening in the $8 million range from 1,803 locations.