The film Hidden Figures has been an absolute smash in the box office. It was released Christmas Day, just about a week after Rogue One premiered. To everyone’s surprise, Hidden Figures easily beat out Rogue One’s box office earnings.
Market Watch reported that Hidden Figures is still holding strong in its second and third weekends, a feat that is rare in Hollywood where most movies see grosses fall more than 50% after opening weekend.
The critically acclaimed movie is about a trio of African-American women working as mathematicians and engineers who helped NASA win the space race. The movie is based on the true stories of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson.
Octavia Spencer, who portrayed Dorothy Vaughan, made headlines over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend when she posted, “Tomorrow I’ve bought the 8pm showing of #HiddenFigures [at] the rave Baldwin Hills. If you know a family in need that would like to see our movie but can’t afford it have them come. It’s first come, first served. My mom would not have been able to afford to take me and my siblings. So, I’m honoring her and all parents this #MLKweekend. Pass the word.”
Her wonderful generosity has hit the hearts of many, who feel it was a sweet gesture in an age where two tickets and a box of popcorn is the same price as a fancy dinner.
But Spencer’s actions have also inspired her fellow stars to do the same thing! The film’s lead, Taraji P. Henson has personally bought out a screening of Hidden Figures in Chicago, where she lives. The A.V. Club reports the screening was for 2pm on January 22 and was also first come, first served.
The theater told Entertainment Weekly that the Chicago theater boasts 211 seats, and 210 were filled up.
This growing trend started by Octavia Spencer spread like wildfire among the cast and crew. The Houston Chronicle reported that director Ted Melfi said, “Inspired by Octavia Spencer’s buy out of a theater in Los Angeles last week for low income families, the rest of the cast and crew have followed suit.”
“Jim Parsons has bought out the showing in Houston. Taraji P. Henson has covered showings in South Side Chicago and D.C. Janelle Monae has bought one in Atlanta. Pharell Williams has purchased two in Virginia, and co-producer Kimberly Quinn and myself covered two in Missouri.”