The incredibly inspiring film about three Black female mathematicians who helped the United States win the space race beat out a film set in outer space.
The historical drama, Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae beat out Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to win the week’s box office with $22.8 million to Rogue One’s $22.1 million.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Sunday morning estimates had the two films tying for the No. 1 spot but folks must have come out after church and/or brunch, because Hidden Figures did more business than expected throughout the day.
More incredibly, Hidden Figures only played in 2,471 theaters versus Rogue One in 4,157 locations, which has been atop the chart for three consecutive weeks. It received an A+ grade CinemaScore, the highest grade possible.
The film is based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. It dramatizes the real-life story of three young African-American mathematicians, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who were instrumental in helping NASA win the space race against the Soviet Union.
Hidden Figures explores the lives of this extraordinary trio by showing their every days lives as friends, mothers, wives and career women working in segregated Langley, Virginia, in the 1950s and 1960s. It is one of very few feature films in the canon that places black women at its center.
The report notes that 43 percent of ticket buyers were Caucasian and 37 percent African-American. Females made up 64 percent of Hidden Figures’ audience, while 56 percent of all ticket buyers were 35 or older.
Henson and Monae took to social media to celebrate the good news on Monday. Both Instagrammed a photo of The Hollywood Reporter’s tweet about Hidden Figures topping the box office.
In Henson’s caption, the Empire star said the box-office success came in spite of people telling her that “Black women can’t open films domestically or internationally.”
In Monae’s note, she crowed that “The Force was with us!” (an obvious reference to Rogue One) and remarked that her film won out despite the fact that there was a tremendous snowstorm in parts of the country and was in less theaters than its rival.
The bold singer ended by saying, “I think it’s awesome that two movies about space were dueling it out. Y’all know I’m a space Sci-Fi geek for life!”
THE FORCE WAS WITH US. It took over 50 years to tell the story of these 3 brilliant African American female protagonists. Without the research of @margotleeshetterly these women would still be hidden. This weekend we only had 2,471 theaters, while Rogue One' had 4,157 locations. We had snow storms that caused east coast region theaters to close, but #HIDDENFENCES still managed to win the race! THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO BOUGHT A TICKET, BROUGHT YOUR FAMILY/FRIENDS, TOLD A FRIEND, POSTED ON SM, prayed for this film, etc. WE ARE Forever forever THANKFUL. WE DID THIS TOGETHER! Mary, Katherine, Dorothy and all the colored and human computers at NASA who took America to space are HIDDEN NO MORE. WE WILL NOT BE ERASED. 🙏🏿❤😭#hiddenfigures🚀 #starwars #rogueone Side note: I think it's awesome that two movies about space were dueling it out. Y'all know I'm a space Sci-Fi geek for life .🚀
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter