Will Smith is set to push Fifth Shades Of Grey out of the top spot at the weekend box office. The star’s latest Warner Bros. film Focus, about a con man whose life is taken for a ride by a femme fatale played by Margot Robbie, is looking to gross $20M-$25M this weekend at 3,323 theaters. Thursday previews will hit about 2,000 theaters, and the pic will get an extra boost from 800 premium large-format and IMAX playdates. As of Monday, the R-rated noir comedy was tracking strongest among older men ages 45-55 but also showing solid interest from men and women over 25.
Focus is directed and written by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, whose previous outing for the studio — summer 2011’s Crazy, Stupid, Love — opened to $19.1M on its way to $84.4M stateside off a $50M budget. Focus, for which the studio set a release date a year ago, marks a different genre for Smith of late; his previous outing, Sony’s summer 2013 sci-fi film After Earth, crashed at the B.O. with a $27.5M opening and hitting a final cume of $60.5M. At various points Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone circled Focus, followed by Ben Affleck and Kristen Stewart.
Among his non-action films, Smith’s best bow belongs to the romantic comedy Hitch, which opened to $43.1M in February 2005 and finaled at $179.5M.
Blumhouse’s $5M horror pic The Lazarus Effect starring Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass is about medical students bringing dead patients back to life. It is looking for a FSS take of $12M-$14M in about 2,500 theaters. That should be good for No. 2 on the weekend. Relativity is distributing the film, on which it acquired domestic for $3.3M (Lionsgate has foreign, and D Films is releasing in Canada). The pic is showing interest among guys and girls 25-35 per Monday’s industry tracking. It will kick off Thursday with 8 PM screenings.
After weathering a 73% drop in its second frame, Universal/Focus Features’ Fifty Shades Of Grey is expected to catch its breath with an estimated decline between 45%-50% in its third session with a B.O. take of $11.1M-$12.2M. Current domestic B.O. through Tuesday stands at $133.3M.
Disney’s McFarland, USA and CBS Films/Lionsgate’s The Duff are estimated to register second-weekend drops of 35%-50%.
Best Picture Oscar winner Birdman from Fox Searchlight will go wide, jumping from 407 playdates to more than 1,000 in its 20th weekend. Pic’s domestic cume through Tuesday stands at $38M. Birdman, which was released on DVD and on-demand last week, will be booked at art house, specialty, mainstream multiplex and upscale suburban complexes.
Both Fandango and MovieTickets.com reported today that advance tickets sales have begun for Lionsgate’s Insurgent, one month before the sequel bows on March 20. Each ticket seller is offering perks to moviegoers with their purchase.
Fandango is offering a free download of the first film, Divergent. Lionsgate also has partnered with Fandango to offer more than 50,000 gifts with purchase for ticket transactions with 24-hour flash sales during each following week leading up to the film’s release. Prizes include downloads from the Divergent book series and exclusive tracks from the film’s soundtrack.
MovieTickets.com buyers snapping up tickets today receive a free HDX digital copy of Divergent on Vudu.