“Hidden Figures” just added another feat to the books by surpassing “La La Land” to become the Academy’s highest-grossing Best Picture nominee of the year. Including numbers from this past weekend, the biographical drama, which was released in the U.S. two weeks after “La La Land”, has now collected a total of $119.5 million (“La La Land” has a total of $118.2 million).
This great news is coming on the heels of its casts and crew winning the Screen Actors Guild Award For Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. Taraji P. Henson, who stars as pioneering NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson in the film, accepted the award by saying: “The shoulders of the women that we stand on are three American heroes: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (played by Janelle Monáe). Without them, we would not know how to reach the stars.”
“These women did not complain about the problems, their circumstances, the issues, we know what was going on in that era, they didn’t complain. They focused on solutions. Therefore, these brave women helped put men into space.”
On top of being up for Best Picture, the inspiring film also snagged two more Oscar nods: one for Best Adapted Screenplay and the other, a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Octavia Spencer. It also soared above “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in its opening weekend and landed at the #1 spot in the U.S. box office, even though it played at almost 1,700 less theaters than “Rogue One” and east coast region theaters were closed due to inclement weather.
The success of “Hidden Figures” goes to show the high demand for films that depict the contributions that African Americans have made to history. In the words of Janelle Monáe, “Mary, Katherine, Dorothy and all the colored and human computers at NASA who took America to space are HIDDEN NO MORE. (And) WILL NOT BE ERASED.”