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BenedictL11

Split and Hidden Figures: What Went Right?

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Although HF is considered a 2016 release since it released on Christmas Day, nobody could imagine to have two $100M January surprise hits. While LLL was expected to make a $100M+ with its positive buzz (despite it was from a studio that failed to generate $100M hits outside of THG, Divergent/Insurgent and Twilight franchise since NYSM), nobody expected that Split and HF (though I predicted that this one was going to make it that far due to strong Oscar buzz) was going to make it this far.

 

Any reasons what went right with those sleeper hits?

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Original Horror movies especially rated PG-13 rarely exceed $100M. Back in 2009, We thought that Drag to Me Hell was going to break out but it floundered. Not since the Grudge (back in 2004) has a PG-13 horror film like Split has made at least $110M+ domestically and will be on its way to $130-135M. 

 

As for Hidden Figures, it will be the highest grosser (adjusted for inflation) for a PG original live-action movie since Paul Blart: Mall Cop. 

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Split has a unique concept with a semi-well known actor in James McAvoy. Early word built that it was M Night Shyamalan's return to form, and people got hyped. Now that people love Split, the sequel will easily outgross the first and might even have a shot at 200M.

 

Hidden Figures is the type of movie the whole family can enjoy and tells an important, unknown story. Add in Oscar buzz, and the outcome has been massive.

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Hidden Figures took advantage of the hostile US climate in January by presenting a film that was hopeful and crowdpleasing. It turned strong buzz into strong word-of-mouth that was made greater by the Oscar nominations. The same could be said of La La Land, although Hidden Figures could very well outgross it in the end.

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