UPDATE, MONDAY 3-DAY ACTUALS: Fifty Shades of Grey recorded a second weekend in B.O. actuals of $22.26M, 4% off from its projected FSS estimate yesterday. That lower figure for the E.L. James BDSM story is now 74% down from its opening weekend with a 10-day running stateside total of $129.16M. As Nancy Tartaglione detailed, Fifty Shades’ testosterone continues to rage abroad with a global total to date of $405.1M.
Both 20th Century Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and Paramount’s SpongeBob Movie bested their respective Sunday AM estimates with actuals of $18.3M and $16.57M. Both newcomers Disney’s Mcfarland U.S.A. at $11M and CBS/Lionsgate’s The Duff at $10.8M were slightly lower in reported figures today. Paramount/MGM’s Hot Tub Time Machine was up a bit with $5.96M. In regards to the sequel tanking, we need to also blame the tracking. Last Thursday, Hot Tub 2 was leading in total awareness above McFarland and Duff, ranging from 75%-88% among male and female demos (evident that Par’s marketing was working), hence the reason why the industry believed it would come in the low teens to $15M range.
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s American Sniper, with only one Oscar win for sound editing, hit $320M mark this weekend ranking sixth. Outside of the Clint Eastwood film, and Weinstein Co.’s The Imitation Game ($83.9M), the only other Oscar contender, now winner, seeing solid results was best actress Julianne Moore’s Still Alice from Sony Classics which saw a 28% weekend gain at 765 playdates with a running total in its sixth weekend of $7.96M. Sony Classics also owned the best per screen average of the weekend with Oscar foreign film nominee Wild Tales which earned $20,621 at four locales or $82,483.
Final weekend ticket sales according to Rentrak is $118.2M, +6% over the same period a year ago. 2015 B.O. for Jan. 1-Feb. 22 is $1.652B, +10.4% over 2014.
Below are the top 20 films per Rentrak Theatrical for the weekend of Feb. 20-22:
1). Fifty Shades of Grey (UNI), 3,655 theaters (+9) / 3-day PSA: $6,090/ 3-Day: $22.26M (-74%)/Total Cume: $129.2M/ Wk 2
2). Kingsman: The Secret Service (FOX), 3,266 theaters (+62) / 3-day PSA. $5,617/ 3-Day: $18.3M (-49%)/ Total Cume: $67.9M/ Wk 2
3). The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (PAR), 3,680 theaters (+26) / 3-day PSA: $4,504 / 3-Day: $16.57M (-47%)/Total Cume: $126.2M/ Wk 3
4). McFarland USA (DIS), 2,755 theaters / 3-day PSA: $4,000 / 3-Day: $11M/ Wk 1
5). The Duff (CBS/LGF), 2,575 theaters / 3-day PSA: $4,198 / 3-Day: $10.8M*/Wk 1
6). American Sniper (WB), 3,235 theaters (-201)/ 3-day PSA: $3,107/ 3-Day: $10M (-39%)/ Total cume: $320M/ Wk 9
7). Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (PAR), 2,880 theaters / 3-day PSA: $2,071/ 3-Day: $5.96M*/Wk 1
8). Jupiter Ascending (WB), 2,503 theaters (-678) / 3-day PSA: $1,520 / 3-Day: $3.8M (-59%)/Total Cume: $39.6M/ Wk 3
9). The Imitation Game (TWC), 1,408 theaters (-143) / 3-day PSA: $1,795 / 3-Day: $2.5M (-28%)/ Total cume: $83.8M / Wk 13
10). Paddington (TWC), 1,837 theaters (-407) / 3-day PSA: $1,331 / 3-Day: $2.4M (-39%) /Total cume: $67.8M /Wk 6
11). Still Alice (SPC), 765 theaters (+263) / 3-day PSA: $2,833/ 3-Day: $2.16M (+28%) /Total cume: $7.96M /Wk 6
12). The Wedding Ringer (Sony), 950 theaters (-506)/ 3-day PSA: $1,361/3-Day: $1.29M (-60%)/ Total cume: $61.9M /Wk 6
13). Black or White(REL), 1,166 theaters (-425)/3-day PSA: $894/3-Day: $1.04M (-61%)/ Total cume: $19.6M/Wk 4
14). Seventh Son (UNI), 1,091 theaters (-1855) /3-day PSA: $950/3-Day: $967.7K (-77%)/Total Cume: $16M/ Wk 3
15). Birdman (FSL), 407 theaters (-74) /3-day PSA: $2,156/3-Day: $877.5K (+2%)/Total cume: $37.78M/Wk 19
16). Project Almanac (Par), 828 theaters (-904) /3-day PSA: $1,009/3-Day: $835K (-70%)/ Total cume: $21.4M/Wk 4
17). Selma (Par), 412 theaters (-154) / 3-Day PSA: $1,510/$3-Day: $622K (-39%)/Total cume: $49.5M / Wk 9
18). Whiplash (SPC) 440 theaters (-75)/3-day PSA: $1,297/$3-Day: $570K (-3%)/Total cume: $11.33M/Wk 20
19). The Theory of Everything (FOC), 545 theaters (+79) /3-day PSA: $1,016/3-Day: $553.8K (-25%)/ Total cume: $34.1M/Wk 16
20). Big Hero 6 (DIS), 292 theaters (-25) /3-day PSA $1,850/3-Day: $540K (-20%)/Total cume: $220.2M/Wk 16
*includes Thursday previews
Wild Tales (SPC), 4 theaters / 3-day PSA: $20,621/3-Day: $82,483K/Total $186,972/Wk 1
Elephant Song (eOne Films), 23 theaters / 3-day PSA: $2,603 / 3-Day: $59,877K /Total $82,857/Wk 1
Queen and Country (BBC), 1 theaters / 3-Day: $5,954K / Total/$8,612/Wk 1
Les Loups (eOne Films), 1 theaters/ 3-Day: $4,478/ Total: $5,318/Wk 1
PREVIOUS SUNDAY FINAL UPDATE: Universal Focus is expecting Fifty Shades of Grey to come in lower than what we’ve been predicting, with $23.2M in its second weekend, down 73% for a running 10-day domestic cume of $130.1M. Revised Friday per the studio is $8.02M with a +12% increase on Saturday to $8.955M. Sunday is estimated to come in at $6.268M.
It’s not the biggest drop for a wide release in its second weekend – that dunce cap is actually worn by the infamous Gigli with -82% (that film had a CinemaScore D-), but Fifty’s sophomore decline is in the vein of those 70% drops for such female-demo pics like 2009’s The Twilight Saga: New Moon and 2010’s Valentine’s Day. Yes, with big openings come big weekend declines; insiders, however, tell me that bad word of mouth is impacting the film, as suggested by that Scarlet Letter of a C+ CinemaScore. However, Mr. Grey is expected to still have some virility abroad, and Nancy Tartaglione will weigh in with those results in a bit.
Five films grossing in excess of $10M drove this weekend to another up frame in 2015 with $114M per Rentrak theatrical, up 2% from the same period a year ago. This year’s total domestic ticket sales keep pacing ahead of 2014 at 10% with $1.65B.
20th Century Fox’s Kingsman: Secret Service enjoyed a solid second weekend in second place with $17.5M, off 52% with a 10-day running cume of $67.1M. Paramount’s The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water held third in its third weekend with $15.5M at 3,680 venues for a running Stateside cume of $125.17M.
Walt Disney’s McFarland, USA and CBS/Lionsgate’s The Duff have been fighting it out all weekend for No. 4 and the way it is being called right now is that the track team will out-leg the girls. McFarland is cruising to post $11.3M at 2,755 theaters, with a 50/50 male-female breakdown. Adults repped 64% of the crowd, followed by families at 27%. Age breakdown showed 30% under 25.
Audiences in exit polls said that they were drawn to McFarland because it’s a true story. In addition, those over 30 cited star Kevin Costner as a big reason why they turned up. There was also the sports component of the story that some found appealing. McFarland is looking to have the edge over Duff on Sunday given how Hispanic audiences tend to frequent movies more on Sunday. As one of the only PG live-action titles in the marketplace, Disney is looking forward to a nice multiple on McFarland, particularly given its A CinemaScore. Hispanic audiences gave the film a 93% definite recommend (a solid response from the demo in this category is 65%). The top theaters for McFarland were in Hispanic farm communities out here in Cali, much like the setting of the true story itself. Bakersfield theaters ranked Nos. 1, 3, 4 in the country. Fresno was the film’s second-best city, and San Jose ranked fifth.
Among newcomers, The Duff is projected to make more than its estimated $8.5M budget back, banking $11.025M at 2,575 locations this weekend. In addition to its A- CinemaScore, it received an A from those under 25.
The crowd was 75% female, 68% under 25, 48% under 18. Duff marks CBS’ first partnered project with Lionsgate; CBS produced and marketed while Lionsgate distributed. Duff played strong in the Midwest and the South. Moviegoers said that the main reason why they went to see the film was concept and the stars. CBS blasted the loudspeakers on the film in social media, hitting the sweet spot of their young female audience. Social mentions for the film last night were at 41K per ListenFirst social-media monitor, up 17.5% from the previous day. Castmembers engaged heavily with their fanbase. Robbie Amell, who stars in the film and on CW’s The Flash as Firestorm, joined Mae Whitman in a Facebook fan chat. In addition, the cast took over a Snapchat session.
Said Lionsgate domestic distribution EVP David Spitz, “We seized the opportunity that the marketplace afforded us. There was nothing for our demo at this time and we recognized that and should benefit from that in the weeks to come.”
Paramount/MGM’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2 came in far below its low-teen projections with $5.8M at 2,880 locations. 63% male-attended, but with a much older audience of 76% over 25. The only upside for Hot Tub 2 is that MGM kept it cheaper this time around with an estimated $14M production cost, a price cut of 60% less than the first installment.
However, rival studio execs said that Paramount/MGM spent more P&A than McFarland and Duff. The studio definitely gave it their all with the film, including dropping a Patriots Deflategate trailer during Super Bowl week. So what went wrong with Hot Tub 2?
Essentially it boils down to the lack of John Cusack. The first film was built around him as the straight man, lampooning the type of ’80s comedies that made him famous. Hot Tub 1 built on that Cusack base, then stirred in Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Clark Duke.
“Just like having Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Expendables is an embodiment of that [old action-star] concept, having Adam Scott replace Cusack in the sequel of an ’80s spoof doesn’t work,” said an insider. A C- Cinemascore indicates poor word of mouth, suggesting that audiences didn’t find it funny.
1). Fifty Shades of Grey (UNI), 3,655 theaters (+9) / $8M Fri. /$8.9M Sat. (+12%)/ $6.2M Sun. (-30%)/ 3-Day: $23.2M (-73%)/Total Cume: $130.1M/ Wk 2
2). Kingsman: The Secret Service (FOX), 3,266 theaters (+62) / $5.3M Fri./$8M Sat. (+51%)/ $4.2M Sun. (-47%)/ 3-Day: $17.5M (-52%)/ Total Cume: $67.1M/ Wk 2
3). The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (PAR), 3,680 theaters (+26) / $4M Fri. /$7.1M Sat. (+80%)/ $4.3M Sun. (-40%)/ 3-Day: $15.5M (-51%)/Total Cume: $125.1M/ Wk 3
4). McFarland USA (DIS), 2,755 theaters / $3.6M Fri. /$4.5M Sat. (+25%)/ $3.1M Sun. (-30%)/ 3-Day: $11.3M/ Wk 1
5). The Duff (LGF), 2,575 theaters / $4.2M Fri./ $4.2M Sat. (0%)/ $2.4M Sun. (-42%)/ 3-Day: $11M/Wk 1
6). American Sniper (WB), 3,235 theaters (-201)/ $2.7M Fri. / $4.6M Sat. (+69%)/ $2.3M Sun. (-50%)/ 3-Day: $9.6M (-41%)/ Total cume: $319.6M/ Wk 9
7). Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (PAR), 2,880 theaters / $2.2M Fri./ $2.1M Sat. (-5%)/ $1.2M Sun. (-40%)/ 3-Day: $5.8M/Wk 1
8). Jupiter Ascending (WB), 2,503 theaters (-678) / $1.05M Fri./$1.6M Sat. (+60%)/ $930K Sun. (-45%)/ 3-Day: $3.6M (-60%)/Total Cume: $39.5M/ Wk 3
9). The Imitation Game (TWC), 1,408 theaters (-143) / $751K Fri./$1.2M Sat. (+61%)/ $605K Sun. (-50%)/ 3-Day: $2.5M (-26%)/ Total cume: $83.9M / Wk 13
10). Paddington (TWC), 1,837 theaters (-407) / $636K Fri./$1M Sat. (+62%)/ $620K Sun. (-40%)/ 3-Day: $2.2M (-43%) /Total cume: $67.6M /Wk 6
Other Best Picture noms:
Birdman (FSL) 407 theaters (-74)/ $247K Fri./$405K Sat. (+64%)/ $178K Sun. (-56%)/ 3-day cume: $830K (-3%)/Total cume: $37.7M/Wk 19
Selma (Par), 412 theaters (-154) / $198K Fri./ $265K Sat. (+35%)/ $119K Sun. (-55%)/ 3-Day: $580K (-43%)/Total cume: $49.5M / Wk 9
Whiplash (SPC) 440 theaters (-75)/$3-day cume: $569K (+30%)/Total cume: $11.3M/Wk 20
The Theory of Everything (FOC), 545 theaters (+79)/ $173K Fri. /$281K Sat. (+62%)/ $112K Sun. (-60%)/ 3-day cume: $566K (-24%)/Total cume: $34.1M / Wk 16
Asterix: The Mansion (MON), 74 theaters / $61K Fri./ $97K Sat. (+59%)/ $58K Sun. (-40%)/ 3-Day: $216K/Wk 1
Triumph In The Skies (ASIA), 11 theaters / $69K Fri./ $70K Sat. (+1%)/ $38K Sun. (-45%)/ 3-Day: $177K/PSA: $14,725K/Wk 1
Wild Tales (SPC), 4 theaters / $24K Fri./ $37K Sat. (+55%)/ $22K Sun. (-40%)/ 3-Day: $82K/PSA: $20,514K/Wk 1
UPDATE, SATURDAY, 8:30 AM: Studios have reported their Saturday morning estimates which are further reflected below. Universal is seeing a second Friday of $7.986M for Fifty Shades Of Grey, off 74% from its opening day. Second weekend estimates for the E.L. James film are currently in the $24-$25M range at 3,655 engagements with a 10-day domestic cume still projected to exceed $131M.
UPDATE, SATURDAY 3 AM: Fifty Shades Of Grey is expected to come in at the lower end of expectations this weekend with $25.1M, a 71% freefall from its $85.1 FSS a week ago per industry estimates tonight. By Sunday, Fifty Shades’ domestic B.O. should land at $132.5M. Despite the drop, Fifty is still strong enough to whip three new wide entries: CBS/Lionsgate’s The Duff and Disney’s McFarland U.S.A., neck-and-neck for fifth place this weekend with just over $11M each, and Paramount/MGM’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2, with a tepid $2.5M Friday (Paramount reporting $2.3M) and an anticipated $7M FSS in seventh place. Audiences loved McFarland U.S.A. and The Duff, respectively awarding them A and A- CinemaScores, while ticketbuyers were cool on Hot Tub 2, giving it a C-.
Fifty‘s Friday should come in a tad lower than what was expected at noon with $8.4M, 72% below its $30.28M opening day a week ago. Two forces are contributing to Fifty’s collapse in its sophomore frame. First, the majority of women who were going to see it, saw it (and guys aren’t interested). Second, Fifty has bad word of mouth, indicative in its C+ CinemaScore last weekend. As one marketing executive projected last weekend, “As far as the longevity and playability of Fifty Shades Of Grey — as the old saying goes, ‘Don’t stand underneath this thing!’ There was a built-in audience for this film with a fervent desire, and they had to see the movie and be part of the conversation during the first weekend. But then the rest of the conversation is ‘Yeesh‘ which immediately shuts off the water-cooler discussion. It’s not a movie like Gone Girl, which had a huge twist and kept pulling in audiences.”
After opening to $37.5M with a B CinemaScore, Gone Girl, which was also based on popular bestselling femme novel, posted an amazing 4.5x (domestic B.O. is $167.8M). The David Fincher film benefited by playing both to males (40%) and females (60%), versus Fifty, which is largely defined by its female followers (82%). Most female-demo films, such as 2008’s Sex And The City, are front loaded during their first weekend and post steep drops during their second (-63% for the Michael Patrick King movie). However, Sex And The City earned an A CinemaScore, which worked wonders for its word of mouth following its $57M, yielding a near 2.7 multiple ($152.6M) in its final domestic tally. The consensus is that Fifty Shades will struggle to reach a 2x multiple of its $85.1M opening.
Does any of it matter to Universal? All this nitpicking, frankly, is moot: Fifty Shades is already in the black, with a global cume of $316M as of Thursday off its estimated $40M production budget. It’s all gravy from here on out—even if those words of mouth are of the four-letter kind.
The top 10 per Friday late night industry estimates:
1). Fifty Shades Of Grey (UNI/Focus), 3,655 theaters (+9) / $8.4M Fri. (-72%)/ 3-Day: $25.1M (-71%)/Total Cume: $132.5M/ Wk 2
2). Kingsman: The Secret Service (FOX), 3,266 theaters (+62) / $5.16M Fri. (-50%)/ 3-Day: $16.1M (-54%)/ Total Cume: $66M/ Wk 2
3). The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (PAR), 3,680 theaters (+26) / $3.85M Fri. (-40%)/ 3-Day: $16.3M (-48%)/Total Cume: $125.2M/ Wk 3
4). The Duff (CBS/LGF), 2,575 theaters / $4.1M Fri.*/ 3-Day: $11.2M/Wk 1
5). McFarland USA (DIS), 2,755 theaters / $3.6M Fri. / 3-Day: $11.1M/ Wk 1
6). American Sniper (WB), 3,235 theaters (-201)/ $2.6M Fri. (-30%) /3-Day: $9M (-45%)/ Total cume: $318.2M/ Wk 9
7). Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (PAR), 2,880 theaters / $2.5M Fri.*/ 3-Day: $7M/Wk 1
8). Jupiter Ascending (WB), 2,503 theaters (-678) / $1.08M Fri. (-46%) / 3-Day: $3.67M (-60%)/Total Cume: $39.5M/ Wk 3
9). Paddington (TWC), 1,837 theaters (-407) / $622K Fri. (-23%) / 3-Day: $2.7M (-32%) /Total cume: $68.1M /Wk 6
10). The Imitation Game (TWC), 1,408 theaters (-143) / $701K Fri. (-13%) / 3-Day: $2.5M (-27%)/ Total cume: $83.8M / Wk 13
*includes Thursday night previews
20th Century Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service is holding on to second in its second go-round with $5.16M on Friday (Fox reporting higher on Saturday AM with $5.3M) and an estimated $16.1M for the weekend, off 54%. By the end of Sunday, Kingsman is estimated to have a $66M 10-day domestic B.O.
Paramount is faring better with The SpongeBob Movie than Hot Tub 2. The family feature toon made an estimated $3.85M in its third Friday and looks to own No. 3 with $16.3M and a domestic B.O. of $125.2M by Sunday.
Ticket sales for The Duff, based on the popular teen novel by Kody Keplinger, have largely been powered by its social media footprint. Per RelishMix, Duff has been tracking at 559K viewers a day across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, which is twice than McFarland U.S.A.‘s traffic and 9x more than Hot Tub 2. Duff star Bella Thorne has aggressively tweeted to her 5.8M followers, with comedian Ken Jeong in second with his 1M followers. The film’s top 10 YouTube videos have all started spiking in the last 24-hours up to 13M views off of sneak peeks, while its Facebook has grown 58% over the last 2 weeks up to 245k page likes including a promo for a Snapchat takeover with actor Robbie Amell. Critics aren’t hurting The Duff either with a nice 61% fresh Tomatometer score. Industry estimates peg Duff‘s Friday at $4.1M with $400K from Thursday previews rolled in. CBS is reporting $4.27M. Below is Thorne’s latest hurrah to fans:
McFarland U.S.A., which is based on the true-story of Hispanic high school students in a poor California farm town forming a champion cross-country team, is an inspirational sports drama that jives with the Disney family brand. Estimated production cost is $25M. The studio has promoted the film heavily to the faith-based as well as Latino audiences. They’ve also engaged the running communities at high schools across the country in an effort to reach men under 25. It is the only live-action PG film in the top 10, and it is further bolstered this weekend by having the best reviews out of the three new titles with 78% fresh on the Tomatometer. Friday’s take is expected to be $3.6M per industry and Disney estimates.
The late night party-hardy crowds did not show up to Hot Tub 2 as expected. That was the case with the first film in March 2010, which saw a surge in traffic after 7 PM showtimes. Hot Tub 2‘s estimated Friday till of $2.5M (including $366K Thursday previews) is 48% less than the first Friday of Hot Tub 1 ($4.85M), and the sequel’s FSS looks to be 50% less than the $14M opening racked up by the first installment. Hot Tub 1 benefited from having John Cusack on the marquee.
Marketing for Hot Tub 2 included a New York City stunt during the NBA All- Star weekend with a wrapped bus, street teams and a mobile execution in Times Square. Crowds in Times Square were able to dunk the cast of Hot Tub 2 who were taunting patrons from digital screens. Street teams for the film also hit Mardi Gras, where stars Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry and Clark Duke rode in the Krewe of Bacchus parade (the trio also paraded during Mardi Gras 2010 in connection with the first film).
Hot Tub 2‘s social media included a partnership with Woven, one of the largest collegiate male networks across the web. Fans submitted their wildest party pics for the chance to hold an event on their campus and break the Guinness Book Of World Records for the most people hot tubbing in a single venue. There was a weekly red band partnership with Break.com (where Corddry made a penis-cam video) (One source questioned whether the social media partnership worked, as its link to the film’s Tumbler red band trailer only registered views of approximately 3,500). Parody spots surrounded the pre-Superbowl scandal #DeflateGate. Other viral videos addressed Jon Stewart’s departure from The Daily Show and his possible replacement (in an imagined Jessica Williams clip from the film. The comedienne quickly denied on Sunday she was not taking over the desk on Twitter. See the Hot Tub 2 clip below.
Warner Bros./Village Roadshow‘s American Sniper is inching out Friday latenight industry estimates of $2.6M with $2.72M on Saturday AM. Jupiter Descending is showing a third Friday of $1.055M per Warner Bros. with a current cume through yesterday of $36.9M. Weinstein Co.’s Paddington and Imitation Game are coming in higher on Saturday morning from their midnight projections with $636K and $751K respectively, however, the bear is expected to outpeg the Oscar nominee for ninth place thanks to matinees. Paddington is within breathing distance of hitting $70M, and will land at $68.2M. Armed with a WGA win for adapted screenplay, The Imitation Game is looking to head into Oscar night with a cume through its 13th frame of $84M.
Best Picture nominees:
Birdman (FSL) 407 theaters (-74)/ $223K Fri. (+10%)/ 3-day cume: $859K (0%)/Total cume: $37.7M/Wk 19
Whiplash (SPC) 440 theaters (-75)/$207K Fri. (+40%)/3-day cume: $767K (+30%)/Total cume: $11.5M/Wk 20
Selma (Par), 412 theaters (-154) / $199K Fri. (-29%)/ 3-Day: $647K (-36%)/Total cume: $49.5M / Wk 9
The Theory of Everything (FOC), 545 theaters (+79)/ $158K Fri. (-5%)/3-day cume: $608K (-18%)/Total cume: $34.1M / Wk 16
Asterix: The Mansion (MON), 74 theaters / $74K Fri./ 3-Day: $281K/Wk 1
Triumph in The Skies (ASIA), 11 theaters / $50K Fri./ 3-Day: $147K/PSA: $13,352/Wk 1
Wild Tales (SPC), 4 theaters / $20K Fri./ 3-Day: $63K/PSA: $15,800/Wk 1
PREVIOUS, FRIDAY 1 PM: Per noon industry estimates, Universal Focus’ Fifty Shades Of Grey is showing a Friday of $8.5M and a three-day that is between $24.9M-$30M, which would mark a 65-71% drop from its $85M bow. That’s what many insiders have been expecting all along, not only because of its C+ CinemaScore, rather a number of female-demo films like Twilight and Sex And The City tended to draw the bulk of their followers on opening weekend, then slide from there. 20th Century Fox’s The Kingsman looks to dip 50% in its weekend and Friday for a No. 2 spot tonight of $5M-$5.2M and a FSS of $18M.
Paramount’s The SpongeBob Movie will likely rank sixth tonight in the low $3M, but many are expecting it to fight its way up to No. 3 for the weekend with $16M-$16.5M, maybe even to the No. 2 slot. Warner Bros’ American Sniper is project to about $11.5M. All of the new entries are in a fight with mid $3M grosses today and grosses of $8.5M-$10M, still too close to call. Currently, Disney’s McFarland U.S.A. and CBS’ The Duff are in an interesting footrace with $3.6M-$3.7M for today. Paramount/MGM’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is behind them with $3.5M, however, that figure is expected to spike as this R-rated comedy’s money isn’t in matinees, but evening shows. Says one source about the anticipated party crowd who’ll turn up by dusk, “A film like Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is best enjoyed in a different state of mind.”
UPDATE, FRIDAY 11:54 AM: Paramount/MGM’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2 posted $366K last night at 2,052 locations. The R-rated comedy, the first in the marketplace since last month’s The Wedding Ringer, stars Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Adam Scott in a sequel to the 2010 MGM comedy which bowed to $14M and finaled at $50.3M stateside. Hot Tub 2 is currently projected to earn $11M-$13M. The pic carries an estimated production cost of $14M, 61% lower than its original.
PREVIOUS, WEDNESDAY 12:51 PM: Universal/Focus Features’ Fifty Shades Of Grey will continue to preside over the top box office spot this weekend, with sources telling Deadline that the film should post an estimated 60%-70% three-day decline from its $85.17M opening for a sophomore take of $26M-$34M. After making $5.5M yesterday, the EL James adaptation is apt to cross the century mark at the domestic B.O. today.
Insiders’ estimates about the steep drop for Fifty Shades not only are being derived from its C+ CinemaScore, but also the nature of femme-fueled populist fare — read both Sex And The City and Twilight posted second-weekend declines of 62%, indicating that ticket sales were front-loaded. But B.O. statistical historical comps aside, Fifty Shades did surprise in overperforming its initial estimate of $60M last weekend by 40%; and some think there’s that possibility it could defy box office odds again.
20th Century Fox’s R-rated Colin Firth action film Kingsman: The Secret Service should post a 50% decline from its FSS opening of $36.2M, bringing in $18M for the No. 2 spot, giving it the edge over three newcomers: Paramount/MGM’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Walt Disney’s McFarland U.S.A. and CBS/Lionsgate’s The DUFF. The cume to date for Kingsman stands at $45M. All three titles are counterprogramming in the wake of Fifty Shades Of Grey, capitalizing on demos who won’t see the Universal/Focus Features film, or in the case of DUFF, may already have (specifically older girls near 18 years of age).
Out the three wide entries, Hot Tub 2 has the edge to perform the best with a projected weekend take in the low-teen millions to $15M at an estimated 2,880 theaters. Thursday previews kick off at 7 PM. The R-rated film, a sequel to the 2010 cult fave which made $56.2M at the domestic B.O. ($64.6M worldwide) off a $36M budget, is looking to hook guys 18-35. Hot Tub 2 benefits as being the first bawdy comedy at the B.O. since Sony Screen Gems’ The Wedding Ringer ($60.3M). It faces competition from 20th Century Fox’s R-rated Vince Vaughn comedy Unfinished Business next weekend.
Disney’s Kevin Costner sports drama McFarland, USA which follows a high school cross-country team from a low income community in central California overcoming great odds in 1987 is expected to file $7M-$9M per industry sources. The film premiered in Bakersfield, CA last Sunday and closed out the Santa Barbara Film Festival. One marketing event preceding the film’s launch included Disney and non-profit org KaBOOM! joining together to build a brand-new playground in McFarland, CA in less than eight hours, inspired by kid-designed drawings.
CBS-Lionsgate’s The DUFF is the feature adaptation of Kody Keplinger’s about a high school girl who contends with being the DUFF to two gorgeous BFs — DUFF being the “Designated Ugly Fat Friend.” The story possess a Fast Times At Ridgemont High vibe, reflecting the current adolescent era of cyber-bulling, while casting a light on young teen girls’ insecurities. It stars Mae Whitman of Arrested Development and Parenthood fame. It was made for an estimated $8.5M by CBS Films and it’s looking to make its budget back this week with a high-single-digit opening of $7M-9M, potentially emulating the trajectory of CBS’ 2011 teen drama Beastly which opened at $9.85M and ended its stateside cume at $27.9M.
Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony telecast isn’t expected to make a dent in terms of sidelining business. Given that the festivities are in the evening, it leaves a large portion of the weekend for moviegoing. Further proof that the Oscarcast doesn’t slow down turnstiles: The biggest openers of all-time over Oscar weekend are Disney’s Alice In Wonderland, which made $116.1M during the weekend of March 5-7, 2010, and Newmarket’s Passion Of The Christ, which grossed $83.8M over its FSS of February 27-29, 2004.