Powerful women and space tales drew big crowds to North American movie theaters this weekend. Final numbers won’t be in until Monday, but based on Sunday estimates, Hidden Figures and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story each brought in about $22 million over the weekend. Underworld: Blood Wars, the eagerly anticipated fifth installment in the series underwhelmed, doing only $13.1 million in ticket sales this weekend.
After its third weekend, Hidden Figures continues to draw big crowds. This true story of the African-American women who worked as mathematicians during the early days of NASA gives long-overdue credit to some of the people who made the United States’ space program possible. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae portray Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, respectively. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hidden Figures has drawn a diverse audience. “43 percent of ticket buyers were Caucasian and 37 percent, African-American,” reports Pamela McClintock.
Now in its fourth weekend, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story remains one of the top box office earners, bringing in over $900 around the world. Starring Felicity Jones and Diego Luna, Rogue One tells the story of a small band of Rebels that steals the plans for the Death Star. The movie takes place just before the events of the original 1977 Star Wars, and it marks the beginning of an era in which Disney plans to produce a series of standalone Star Wars stories. These movies, which don’t depict the Skywalker Family Opera told by the saga movies, will nonetheless fit into continuity with the franchise. Rogue One has drawn criticism from some fans who are disappointed that the movie can’t seem to decide whether it’s a prequel or a standalone. Or, as YouTuber Jenny Nicholson points out, whether it might need its own prequel and “midquel” to fill in some plot holes.
This weekend saw the premiere of Underworld: Blood Wars, in which Kate Beckinsale reprised her role as badass vampire death dealer Selene. It didn’t fare as well as the other top films, but it’s doing better overseas, earning $45 million with some markets still awaiting premieres.