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hidden figures overtakes la la land as the oscars' highest grossing best picture nominee

The Hollywood musical might be setting nominations records, but the tale of African-American female mathematicians is winning at the box office.

by Wendy Syfret
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08 February 2017, 10:50am

Despite La La Land tying with All About Eve and Titanic as the most Oscar nominated film ever, it's clear which film the public are loving most this awards season. Hidden figures, the true story of a team of African-American female mathematicians who were central to the early work of NASA, has beaten the much discussed musical where it really matters: in the box office. Earning an astounding $119.3 million to La La Land's $118.4 million, it now holds the title of this year's top-grossing best picture Oscar nominee.

Hidden figures has punched above its weight ever since January, when the film premiered. Last month The Hollywood Reporter noted that despite screening in just 2,471 theatres across the US, the film was outperforming blockbuster Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which was playing in almost twice as many locations.

Not only were the numbers good, they were diverse: opening weekend statistics showed that 43 percent of ticket buyers were white and 37 percent were African-American. Women made up 64 percent of Hidden Figures' audience.

Star Taraji P. Henson reflected on the greater meaning of the numbers on Instagram, writing: "I have been told my entire career 'Black women can't open films domestically or internationally.' Well anything is possible. Most importantly this proves that PEOPLE LIKE GOOD MATERIAL. HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GENDER OR RACE. Agreed?!" Agreed, 100 percent. 

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Text Wendy Syfret
Image via IMDb