“Hidden Figures” and its retelling of the true story of NASA’s black female mathematicians was the big box office success of this year’s awards season, so much so that its domestic box office total has now passed last year’s installments of some long-running blockbuster franchises like “X-Men” and “Star Trek.”
As of this past weekend, “Hidden Figures” has a domestic box office total of $162.8 million, edging it past the $162.4 million that “Jason Bourne” earned back in August. Other 2016 movies “Hidden Figures” has passed in the U.S. include “X-Men: Apocalypse,” which made $155.4 million, and “Star Trek Beyond,” which made $158.8 million.
While those summer tentpole releases had a much larger worldwide gross than “Hidden Figures” because of their wider overseas releases, it’s still a major victory for Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s inspirational biopic — and a sign of the growing profitability of movies with diverse casts and perspectives.
“The fact that ‘Hidden Figures’ outgrossed some very high-profile summer franchise films proves that brand recognition can only get you so far, and that it ultimately takes a great movie to generate the kind of sustained interest and momentum to deliver a movie to the box office promised land,” said comScore analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
A UCLA study released last month showed that the median global box office in 2015 for films with casts that were from 21 percent to 30 percent minority was $105 million, compared to $42 million for films with casts that were 10 percent or less minority.
In another triumph for diverse filmmaking, “Get Out” hit $111 million domestically this weekend and made Jordan Peele the first black writer-director to pass the $100 million milestone with his first movie. “Moonlight,” meanwhile, has set a new box office record for its scrappy indie studio A24, making $27 million domestically while becoming the first movie with an all-black cast to win the Oscar for Best Picture.