Weekend Box Office

Box Office Guru Wrapup: 50 Shades of Grey Holds On To Number One

Kingsman: The Secret Service and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water round out the top three.

by | February 22, 2015 | Comments

After a record-breaking opening, Fifty Shades of Grey followed up with an almost record-breaking collapse, but has still generated a tremendous amount of money around the world. Newcomers opened with so-so to poor numbers.

Falling 72.7% from last weekend’s spectacular opening, Universal’s dirty little film Fifty Shades of Grey brought in an estimated $23.2M this weekend, bringing its total domestic cume to $130M. Its nearly 73% drop ties it at number two for biggest drops for films playing on over 3,000 screens. Overseas the film held up better falling only 57% to $68M bringing its international totals to $280M for a worldwide cume of $410M. It was the number one movie in over 50 markets across the globe. Opening weekend demand for the film was obviously overwhelming and the second weekend drop was going to be big, but I think the studio was hoping it wouldn’t be this big. Still, in North America alone the film should reach the $175-200M mark with sequels already in the works.

Second place for a second straight weekend belonged to Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service which fell 51% to an estimated $17.5M bringing its total up to $67M. At this rate it should easily cross the $100M mark which is a pretty good accomplishment for a film that was counter-programming for an S&M film. Third place once again belonged to The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water which fell 51% to $15.5M, according to estimates, bringing its cume to $125M. The first movie, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie made $85M total when it was released in 2004. Even adjusted for inflation, this second film is doing much, much better. I’m going to presume it won’t be another 10 years before we see SpongeBob back on the big screen.

Newcomers sandwiched the biggest hit of the holiday season starting with a close race for fourth between Disney’s McFarland, USA and Lionsgate’s The DUFF. Currently the Kevin Costner-led cross country flick is in fourth place opening to an estimated $11.3M from 2,755 screens for a per screen average of $4,107. But close behind are the mean girls from The DUFF which opened to an estimated $11M from 2,575 screens for a stronger per screen average of $4,282. Considering their respective budgets (a reported $17M for McFarland, USA and $8.5M for The DUFF), the girls have to be seen as more successful than the boys. Both had surprisingly strong CinemaScores of an A and an A- respectively which should lead to stronger holds in the upcoming weeks.

Sixth place belonged to Oscar hopeful and runaway success American Sniper which dropped 41% to an estimated $9.6M this weekend, bringing its total to an astounding $319M. If it somehow manages to sneak in and steal the Best Picture Oscar, that number could grow much higher since, anecdotally, there are still a large number of people who haven’t seen the film. Even without a Best Picture bump, American Sniper has defied all expectations and it is still on target to become the top grossing film of 2014, which I doubt anyone would have predicted a year ago.

Opening in seventh place with a resounding thud was the unnecessary sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2. Opening on 2,880 screens, the film took in an estimated $5.8M for a per screen average of $2,014. The first film opened to $14M in March of 2010 and ended up with $50M theatrically and a quasi-cult following on home video. I don’t expect the same for the sequel as the CinemaScore was a C- which is really hard to get unless people truly hate what they’ve seen. I would not expect a trilogy ender for this series.

Falling 60% in its third weekend was the Wachowski siblings sci-fi extravaganza Jupter Ascending which brought in an additional $3.6M, according to estimates, bringing its cume up to a hugely disappointing $39M. The Benedict Cumberbatch-led The Imitation Game was in ninth place this weekend in its 13th weekend of release, taking in an estimated $2.5M, bringing its cume up to $83M for the Weinstein Co. And rounding out the top ten was another Weinstein release, Paddington which fell 43% from last weekend to an estimated $2.3M, bringing its total up to $67M.

Outside of the top 10, Julianne Moore’s trip to Oscar stardom Still Alice added 263 screens and gained 28% from last weekend taking in an estimated $2.1M bringing its cume to a modest $8M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $102.5M which was up 8.8% from last year when The Lego Movie remained at #1 for a third straight weekend with $31.3M; and up 21.8% from 2013 when Identity Thief reclaimed the top spot with $14M.

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