Oscar contender “Hidden Figures” won the weekend box office for a second straight week taking in an estimated $20.45 million ($25.3 million by Monday), according to boxofficepro.com, but the real story over this Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend is how poorly the new releases did. And we mean historically awful.
MLK weekend has never been a big one for the movie business but this year is filled with bombs. Paramount’s kids action movie “Monster Trucks,” Ben Affleck’s “Live By Night,” Mark Wahlberg’s look back on the Boston Marathon bombing “Patriots Day,” Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” and the Jamie Foxx action movie “Sleepless” did not impress anyone as all five titles underperformed big time.
Some of these titles were doomed from the start. “Monster Trucks” has been on the shelf for over a year and the studio was already preparing for over a $100 million loss on the movie late last year. The movie took in $10.5 million this weekend ($13 million by Monday). While “Sleepless” has more of the feel of a straight-to-video title. And it performed like one, only taking in around $10 million by the end of MLK weekend.
“Patriots Day” was one title box office analysts thought could win this holiday weekend and get into the $20 million range, but it had a weak showing, only taking in $12 million ($14.3 million by Monday).
Because Scorsese’s latest is unlike his f-bomb-charged gangster movies of the past, Paramount knew it was in for a hard opening weekend. Especially given that the movie didn’t receive the Oscar attention the studio hoped for. So the $2.5 million for “Silence” over MLK holiday weekend isn’t a huge shocker.
But “Live By Night” is the biggest dud of the weekend, well, because it’s a Ben Affleck project. The A-lister has the power to fuel the box office for his directing/starring movies, and “Live By Night” was supposed to be like “Argo” and “The Town” before it. However, the movie was ignored during award season and slaughtered by critics (it has a 32% on Rotten Tomatoes), leading to its paltry $5.42 million weekend (it’s budgeted at $65 million).
Well, here’s hoping next weekend is better for Hollywood.
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