6TH WRITETHRU, Monday 6:30 PM: Even though Warner Bros.’ The Lego Batman Movie’s opening is still fine at $53M, it’s down from its Sunday projection by $2.6M, which some attribute to the fact that the movie isn’t resonating as broadly as The Lego Movie did, rather largely appealing to the under-12 set. Some industry analysts say that’s evident in the lower Saturday boom: Lego Batman was +59% over its first Friday versus Lego Movie‘s +80%. Still, Warner Bros. will have bragging rights into next weekend as Lego Batman will dominate easily with an estimated $31M over three days to Universal’s Fifty Shades Darker‘s $16.3M (-65% from its $46.6M opening) and Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 2, which likely will decline by 40%-50% for a second FSS between $15M-$18M.
However, despite Fifty Shades Darker‘s projected second-weekend decline, it will climax again on Valentine’s Day tomorrow. Advance ticket sales are beating down Lego Batman (really, not a weekday movie at this time of year), and John Wick 2, with the Jamie Dornan-Dakota Johnson sequel looking at a double-digit daily haul that’s easily over $10M but has the potential to travel far north of $12M. Today, the James Foley-directed movie is looking to make $3.5M, raising its total to $50.1M. A double-digit forecast isn’t crazy talk: The last time Valentine’s Day fell on a Tuesday in 2012, The Vow, another chick flick, posted $11.6M on the lovers holiday, repping 28% of its $41M opening weekend. Using the same percentage applied to Fifty Shades Darker‘s opening weekend gets it to $13M on Tuesday and potentially a $63M running cume. Still, John Wick 2 and Lego Batman are expected to post high-single-digit takes on Tuesday.
There’s a great groundswell behind John Wick 2, and it will be interesting to see if it emulates 20th Century Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service. That title fell 49% in its second weekend with $18.3M, but it was coming off a holiday-weekend debut with a three-day of $36.2M. This time, it’s the reverse and the Keanu Reeves assassin movie has the benefit of the four-day weekend. People who didn’t see the first film are finding this sequel and loving it. At $30.4M, John Wick 2 is Reeves’ best opening in nine years and his fifth-best ever; a worthy B.O. comeback. Lionsgate knew it was sitting on a franchise, and our previous post details how the mini-major resurrected the property.
Overall, the top three entries add up to $130M, which is very close to the opening weekend that Deadpool posted last year with $132.4M. He pulled everyone into one movie, while this year, families, older women and men were scattered amid three titles. Total weekend tickets sales, according to comScore, were at $188.1M, +90% over Super Bowl weekend but 21% behind last year’s enormous Valentine’s Day-Presidents Day holiday combo, which over three days accumulated close to $239M. The good news: 2017 is finally clicking ahead of last year for the period of January 1-February 12 at close to 2% with $1.297B.
- The Lego Batman Movie (WB) $53M, 4,088 locations, $12,966 average, 1 week.
- Fifty Shades Darker (Uni) $46.6M, 3,710 locations, $12,563 average, $46,607,250, 1 week.
- John Wick: Chapter 2 (LG) $30.4M, 3,113 locations, $9,777 average, $30,436,123, 1 week.
- Split (Uni/Blumhouse) $9.5M (-34%) 2,961 locations, $3,217 average, $112,498,205, 4 weeks.
- Hidden Figures (Fox), $8M (-22%), 2,667 locations, $3,001 average, $131,454,920, 8 weeks.
- A Dog’s Purpose (Uni), $7.2M (-31%), 3,025 locations, $2,404 average, $42,501,105, 3 weeks.
- Rings (Par) $5.6M (-57%), 2,931 locations, $1,928 average, $21,321,861, 2 weeks.
- La La Land (LG) $4.9M (-33%), 2,065 locations, $2,394 average, $125,954,156, 10 weeks.
- Lion (TWC) $3.95M (+5%) 1,337 locations, $2,955 average, $30,236,332, 12 weeks.
- Sing (Uni) $1.7M (-58%), 1,479 locations, $1,152 average, $265,408,620, 8 weeks.
- The Space Between Us (STX), $1.68M (-55%) 2,758 locations, $611 average, $6,511,522, 2 weeks.
- xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage (Par) $1.5M (-61%), 1,178 locations, $1,286 average, $43,126,640, 4 weeks.
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Dis) $1.49M (-49%), 929 locations, $1,610 average, $527,162,956, 9 weeks.
- Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Sony) $1.38M (-71%), 1,213 locations, $1,143 average, $25,251,868, 3 weeks.
- I Am Not Your Negro (Mag), $821K (+20%), 115 locations, $7,138 average, $1,839,871, 2 weeks.
- Jolly LLB 2 (FIP), $774K, 173 locations, $4,476 average, $774,355, 1 week.
- Moana (Dis), $735K (-45%), 461 locations, $1,594 average, $243,189,793, 12 weeks.
- The Founder (TWC), $724K (-50%), 454 locations, $1,595 average, $11,205,243, 4 weeks.
- Fences (Par) $723K (-41%), 454 locations, $1,593 average, $53,943,781, 9 weeks.
- Manchester By The Sea (AMZ/RSA), $702K (-47%), 454 locations, $1,546 average, $45M, 13 weeks.
5TH WRITETHRU, Sunday AM: Valentine’s Day is the one holiday that when it falls on a weekend doesn’t slow down box office. While business all around remains healthy for the top three wide entries — Warner Bros’ The Lego Batman Movie at $55.6 million, Universal’s Fifty Shades Darker at $46.8M, and Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 2 at $30M — had the lovers’ holiday fell on this weekend, it would have sent ticket sales for this trio even higher.
The three titles currently total $132.4M from their studio-reported Sunday estimates — ironically the same amount Deadpool made a year ago. Essentially, instead of getting one all-encompassing tentpole in the market, moviegoers had three pics of varying sizes catering to different demos.
The mid-$50M-range debut for The Lego Batman Movie is in rare company: It’s one of six animated feature titles that have owned opening weekends in the $50M range, and that have legged out to the high $100M, potentially breaking the $200M threshold. Two factors working for this $80M budgeted toon, which conceivably carries a $120M global P&A like Lego Movie, is its overseas play and the fact it can capitalize on kids on school break — that’s a rolling figure from now through April. Together with $37M in 60 territories, the global debut for the caped brick crusader stands at $92.6M.
According to ComScore, there were 3% K-12 students off this weekend stateside, and that number moves to 17% next weekend. Weekend projections on Friday came in quite high as business was being thrown off by strong matinees, due to kids heading to the theaters on snow days in the Northeast. Business for this Chris McKay-directed feature toon climbed 59% yesterday with an estimated $23.4M. Overall, the second Lego movie is clicking with audiences and critics with an A- CinemaScore and a 91% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes score. All of this said, we understand Lego Batman is skewing much younger than the first movie, playing more to the hand-holding boy demo (who numbered 65%) versus the broad demo that Lego Movie pulled in.
To see how Lego Batman is doing overseas, check here.
Beamed Warner Bros domestic distribution president Jeff Goldstein, “The Lego Movie launched a franchise and Lego Batman is a stand-alone that’s part of this family. This result shows the immense interest in each of these Lego movies. We have the Lego Ninjago Movie in September, and later on The Lego Movie Sequel. It’s an exciting future for this franchise.”
Industry projections heading into the weekend sought to subdue Universal’s Fifty Shades Darker at $35M, but the Sunday reported figures are stronger by 34% (industry estimates see $47M, easily). While Fifty Shades Of Grey swelled on its second day due to Valentine’s Day, Fifty Shades Darker was frontloaded, seeing $21.5M (including $5.72M previews) on Friday and a 26% dip yesterday with $15.8M. Overall, Darker is 45% off from Fifty Shades Of Grey’s $85.1M opening two years ago. Darker earned a much better CinemaScore of B+ than its first chapter’s C+, indicating fans showed up Friday night. Underneath those CinemaScore covers is something special: Females gave the E.L. James sequel an A- at 79%, as did the under-25 bunch at 21%. Fifty-four percent came out because they’re fans of the book, 29% for Jamie Dornan, and 21% for Dakota Johnson. Fifty Shades Darker is the highest-opening and -grossing title of director James Foley’s career.
For how the film is doing overseas after three days of foreplay, see here.
Lionsgate/Summit’s John Wick: Chapter 2 is on fire in third, with an estimated $10.9M on Friday and $11.4M on Saturday, up 5%. Pic’s total weekend ticket sales rep more than a 100% spike over the original’s $14.4M first weekend. That surge is unprecedented in these box office times, particularly for a non-comic book property. John Wick 2‘s Friday beats that of 20th Century Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, which was the R-rated guys’ choice two years ago against Fifty Shades Of Grey. Kingsman went on to open at $36.2M, largely juiced by the four-day Presidents Day weekend coinciding with Valentine’s Day.
More importantly, Kingsman didn’t stop at the B.O. While Fifty Shades Darker will get goosed by Valentine’s Day on Tuesday, generally that type of movie isn’t apt to leg out. John Wick 2 will keep going: Kingsman generated a 3.5 multiple ($128.3M final) off a B+, and John Wick 2 is higher at A- (it even beat its first title which earned a B). What could also make the difference in regards to John Wick 2 going higher is that women aren’t turned off by it, giving it an A- (37%). Another plus: John Wick 2 returns Keanu Reeves to his opening sweet spot at the B.O. on par with such titles as The Matrix and Constantine. If you’re a Matrix fan, then you’re in for a treat, as John Wick 2 is a big kiss to that series, especially with its onscreen reunion of Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. Critics were also stoked by John Wick 2, grading it 91% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Boston and New York snowstorms on Friday didn’t damage overall weekend ticket sales much, we’re told — perhaps under 5% for all titles.
Lego Batman had a prime cross-promoter with its studio’s sister division Warner Bros TV. The toy brick DC superhero received a shout-out during hit series The Big Bang Theory with a special Lego Batman opening, and two Big Bang/Lego Batman promo spots aired throughout the week during the series’ off-network syndication run.
In addition, the Warner Bros studio in Burbank put Lego on a slew of its outdoor TV billboards to celebrate the opening. Other domestic highlights included an 18-city Lego Batman, Batgirl and Robin costumed character tour that hit malls, TV appearances and sporting events across the country. Ads in 3.5M DC Comics throughout January with posters displayed in comic book stores. There was a pit stop at Comic-Con last summer, and a presence at Kidsfest with poster giveaways at Lego stores over the last three months. This was topped off by a direct email outreach to Lego Store’s mailing list. Those under 18 (38%) and under 25 (48%) gave the movie an A.
Heading into the weekend, there was a lot of noise made about the potential drop between the starts of Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Of Grey: OMG, could the franchise be in Divergent-like danger?
Hardly, and phooey on those who thought so: The fact that Uni made the sequel at a responsible production cost of $55M means this erotic noir is pointed toward profitably, especially with an overseas take in 57 territories of $100.1M and a worldwide debut of $146.9M (Grey collected $243.1M in its global debut, final take was $571M off a $40M production cost). “Some people limit this to being a niche title. That’s not true. It’s the No. 1 movie in the world this weekend, a worldwide phenomenon and that typically happens with big tentpole-oriented films” Universal distribution chief Nick Carpou said this morning. Fifty Shades Of Grey pulled in a profit of $255M after all ancillaries, a $571M global cume off of combined production cost and P&A of $174M.
When it comes to sequels, the only ones you can count on to post bigger openings than their predecessors are superhero movies. Fifty Shades Of Grey benefited from a large degree of curiosity two years ago: No one knew how a major studio could pull off an X-rated novel on the big screen with a R-rated take and still be faithful to the original source material.
Providing more Viagra to Fifty Shades Of Grey was its near-Valentine’s Day Saturday, which drew couples, along with the opening day ladies’ night out crowd. Now, moviegoers know how soapy and sexy a Fifty Shades movie can play, and what we’re seeing this weekend is the core fanbase showing up, evident in the great CinemaScore. And Valentine’s Day is expected to be a big payday for Darker with industry estimates forecasting a $12.5M-$15M day thanks to advance sales and anticipated walk-ups.
Screen Engine/ComScore’s PostTrak showed a glowing 82% positive score for Darker, with 80% women, 68% over 25 attending. Fifty-one percent were Caucasian, 23% Hispanic, 17% African American and 10% Asian/other. High word of mouth here: a 68% definite recommend and a 26% likely-yes recommend. Sixty-six percent said the sequel met their expectations, while 30% responded that it exceeded them. 19% of women attended with two to four friends, and 30% with one friend. Anecdotal observation: At a 9:30 PM showing on Thursday night in Canyon Country, CA, there were pockets of women under 25 and only two guys in the auditorium. PostTrak supports that observation, showing 15% attending with a partner/spouse or 16% with a boyfriend. Fifty Shades Darker over-indexed in the south and the southeast. How’s that? There’s a titillation factor that resonates in conservative markets.
When Lionsgate first announced a sequel to 2014’s John Wick (which only made $43M stateside, and grossed a similar amount abroad), the response was Really? However, Lionsgate had the intel that they had a booming franchise. John Wick cost $20M before P&A, made $86M worldwide and was a big home entertainment hit. In talking about the sequel on an investors’ call two years ago, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer noted that the first John Wick was then the third biggest selling electronic sell-through title in Lionsgate history behind Divergent and The Hunger Games: Catching. In total, John Wick over-indexed with an estimated total home entertainment revenue haul of $53M (packaged media & digital combined), which is a rare 122% conversion rate to pic’s domestic box of $43M. Jason Constantine, Loinsgate Motion Picture Group president, of acquisitions & co-productions gets a big shout out as he was the exec who initially pulled in and nurtured John Wick for the studio.
Per PostTrak, John Wick 2 received a total positive score of 85% with older men (68% guys, 79% over 25) buying tickets. Seventy-two percent said they’ll definitely recommend the movie to friends. Forty-two percent attended because they enjoy shoot ’em up films, 41% came for Reeves, and 35% said it was part of a franchise they love. What prompted them most to buy tickets? Forty-nine percent said it was the in-theater trailer, 43% said the TV spots, while 30% said it was the YouTube spots. There was a cross-promo with Atom Tickets, a $5 ticket off campaign with Vudu. Media partnerships included a Fox NFL Sunday integration featuring Reeves during the playoffs pre-game shows and custom promos on ESPN, Adult Swim, BET, Comedy Central, FX, MTV, Spike, TNT, USA and iHeart.
John Wick 2 cost an estimated $40M-plus before P&A with one of the prime co-financiers being China’s TIK Films. Lionsgate’s exposure per various industry sources stands at $25M.
John Wick 2‘s campaign included a Fifty Shades of Grey parody on TV and social media. There was a secondary spoof element also involving “Dog Wick,” which imagined what would happen if the assassin and his beloved dog from the first film switched roles with the pup seeking revenge. Combined YouTube and Facebook views are north of 12M. It’s a vibrant marketing push that began on Super Bowl Sunday. Lionsgate zeroed in on vidoegamers with the VR game, John Wick Chronicles, and PayDay2 integration, John Wick Heists. There was even a press day at 87Eleven (Chad Stahelski’s stunt training facility) which included a stunt demonstration and a mixed reality setup that allowed press to the play the VR game against a green-screen backdrop and leave with a video of themselves immersed in the game.
Universal/Blumhouse’s Split made $2.6M Friday, and will dip 36% for a $9.3M FSS in its fourth go-round. The total gross for the M. Night Shyamalan title should hit $112.2M by Sunday. 20th Century Fox’s Hidden Figures calculated $2.1M on Friday, $8M for its eighth weekend for a fifth place slot, and a running cume by Sunday of $131.4M. Pic’s rival best picture contender La La Land by Sunday will be at $126M, $5.4M behind the Ted Melfi-directed movie. Worldwide is a different story between these Oscar-nominated best pic foes, with La La Land the bigger title counting a projected $300M worldwide by Tuesday.
“The fact that Lion went up close to 10% this weekend is astounding. We’re going to expand even further next weekend and hope to get over 2,000 theaters. The momentum from audiences to global leaders praising this film has caught on. We believe that it is resounding with audiences so well because it wears its politics and heart on its sleeve. It is a movie for our times. We are so proud of all its success, both critically and commercially, no matter what happens. It is a movie for our times,” said Weinstein Co. chief Harvey Weinstein about the $4.1M results for the Oscar best picture nominee.
Through the first six weekends of the year, four of them have seen B.O. surges for Lion. TWC is hearing a great response about the DGA-award winning movie from everyone including school teachers in North Dakota, notable sports figures, and A-list actors. “People are beginning to find the movie and it’s taking off,” says TWC COO/President David Glasser. Deadline projected that Lion would be at $35M by Oscar Sunday, and now the Garth Davis-directed movie is well on its way to $40M-plus.
Adds Glasser, “Since release, Lion has not only sustained its presence at the box office but continues to strengthen it every day. After 12 weeks in theaters it’s still a 7 day box office hit. The film on Friday was only down -5% from the previous week despite being in 68 fewer locations and Saturday increased 69% making Lion one of only 2 titles to increase this weekend, going up 9% in total. This all indicates that audiences are responding to this miraculous story and it will continue to resonate and draw people to theaters. We plan to keep riding strong and see weeks more of continued success.”
Weekend’s high theater averages on the specialty side: Oscilloscope’s Kedi kitties-in-Istanbul doc on one screen is drawing $40,5K. Fox Searchlight’s Toronto International Film Festival pick-up A United Kingdom is generating an estimated $17,5K per theater or $70K at four locations. Magnolia’s Oscar-nominated doc I Am Not Your Negro jumps from 43 to 115 venues for a weekend PTA of $7,2K for a second FSS of $830K and a 10-day of $1.8M.
Top films for the weekend of Feb. 10-12, 2017:
Studio-reported studio figures as of Sunday:
1. The LEGO Batman Movie (WB) 4,088 theaters /$14.6M Fri. (includes $2.2M previews)/$23.4M Sat/$17.6M Sun/3-day: $55.6M/Wk 1
2. Fifty Shades Darker (Uni) 3,710 theaters /$21.5M Fri. (includes $5.72M previews)/$15.8M Sat/$9.5M Sun/ 3-day: $46.8M/Wk 1
3. John Wick: Chapter 2 (LG) 3,113 theaters /$10.9M Fri. (includes $2.2M previews)/$11.4M Sat/$7.7M Sun/3-day: $30M/Wk 1
4. Split (Uni/Blumhouse) 2,961 theaters (-412) /$2.6M Fri /$4.4M Sat/$2.3M Sun/3-day: $9.3M (-35%)/Total: $112.2M/Wk 4
5. Hidden Figures (Fox) 2,667 theaters (-734)/$2.1M Fri /$3.7M Sat/ $2.2M Sun/3-day: $8M (-21%)/Total: $131.4M/Wk 8
6. A Dog’s Purpose (Uni/Amblin/Walden) 3,025 theaters (-153)/$1.7M Fri /$3.4M Sat/ $2.2M Sun/3-day: $7.3M (-30%)/Total: $42.5M/Wk 3
7. Rings (Par) 2,931 theaters /$1.7M Fri. /$2.6M Sat/$1.5M Sun/3-day: $5.8M (-59%)/Total: $21.4M/Wk 2
8. La La Land (Lionsgate) 2,065 (-1,171) /$1.3M Fri (-43%)/$2.3M Sat/ $1.4M Sun/3-day:$5M (-32%)/Total:$126M/ Wk 10
9. Lion (TWC) 1,337 theaters (-68) /$1M Fri/$1.8M Sat/$1.1M Sun /3-day: $4.1M (+9%)/Total: $30.3M/Wk 12
10. The Space Between Us (STX) 2,758 theaters (-54) /$470K Fri/$810K Sat/$490K Sun/$3-day: $1.76M (-53%)/Total: $6.59M/Wk 2
I Am Not Your Negro (Mag) 115 theaters (+72) /$211K Fri /$340K Sat/ $279K Sun/PTA: $7,2K/3-day: $830K (+7%)/Total: $1.8M/Wk 2
Jolly LLB 2 (FIP) 173 theaters /$195K Fri /$356K Sat/$229K Sun/PTA: $4,5K/3-day: $780K/Wk 1
2017 Oscar Shorts (Mag) 184 theaters /3-day: $660K/Wk 1
The Comedian (SPC) 612 theaters (-236) /3-day: $227K (-74%) /Total: $1.4M/Wk 2
A United Kingdom (FSL) 4 theaters /$18K Fri /$31K Sat/$21K Sun/PTA: $17,5K/3-day: $70K/Wk 1
Kedi (OSL) 1 theaters /3-day: $40,5K/Wk 1
As of Saturday AM based on industry estimates:
- The LEGO Batman Movie(WB) 4,088 theaters /$14.6M Fri. (includes $2.2M previews)/3-day: $54.5M/Wk 1
- Fifty Shades Darker(Uni) 3,710 theaters /$21.5M Fri. (includes $5.72M previews)/3-day: $48.3M/Wk 1
- John Wick: Chapter 2 (LG) 3,113 theaters /$10.9M Fri. (includes $2.2M previews)/3-day: $29.6M/Wk 1
- Split (UNI/Blumhouse) 2,961 theaters (-412) /$2.6M Fri (-46%)/3-day: $9.2M (-36%)/Total: $112.2M/Wk 4
- Hidden Figures (Fox) 2,667 theaters (-734)/$2.1M Fri (-28%) /3-day: $8.2M (-19%)/Total: $131.7M/Wk 8
- A Dog’s Purpose(UNI/Amblin/Walden) 3,025 theaters (-153)/$1.7M Fri (-38%) /3-day: $7.7m (-27%)/Total: $42.9M/Wk 3
- Rings(Par) 2,931 theaters /$1.69M Fri. (-70%)/3-day: $5.3M (-59%)/Total: $21M/Wk 2
- La La Land (Lionsgate) 2,065 (-1,171) /$1.3M Fri (-43%)/3-day:$5.1m (-30%)/Total:$126.1M/ Wk 10
- Lion (TWC) 1,337 theaters (-68) /$1M/Fri (-7%) /3-day: $4M (+7%)/Total: $30.3M/Wk 12
- The Space Between Us (STX) 2,758 theaters (-54) /$474K Fri. (-66%)/3-day: $1.7M (-55%)/Total: $6.5M/Wk
I Am Not Your Negro (MAG) 100 theaters (+57) /$211K Fri (-4%) /PTA: $7,3K/3-day: $733K (+7%)/Total: $1.7M/Wk 2
Jolly LLB 2 (FIP) 173 theaters /$195K Fri /PTA: $3,1K/3-day: $698K/Wk 1
2017 Oscar Shorts (MAG) 70 theaters /$143K Fri /PTA: $3k/3-day: $464K/Wk 1
The Comedian (SPC) 612 theaters (-236) /$55k Fri (-83%) / 3-day: $192K (-79%) /Total: $1.5M/Wk 2
A United Kingdom (FSL) 4 theaters /$18K Fri /PTA: $15,7K/3-day: $63K/Wk 1
Kedi (OSL) 1 theaters /$11K Fri /3-day: $30K/Wk 1
PREVIOUS, Friday AM: Universal’s Fifty Shades Darker previews began last night, with the E.L. James sequel earning $5.72 million from 3,120 venues which started showtimes at 7 PM, making it the sixth-best R-rated Thursday night preview of all time.
Also, Warner Bros reports that The Lego Batman Movie grossed $2.2M off 3,500 locations, starting at 5 PM, a figure that outstrips the $1.7M Thursday night of Zootopia. Lionsgate says John Wick: Chapter 2 also made $2.2M last night at 2,400
3,131 sites, a boom over the $870K earned by the first film’s previews in October 2014, and notching above 20th Century Fox’s R-rated guy counterprogramming to Fifty Shades Of Grey, Kingsman: The Secret Service, which started with $1.4M on its Thursday in February 2015 before earning a $36.2M three-day weekend. All great starts last night for this time of year.
In addition last night, distributors contended with snow in the Northeast. There were some theater closings in New England and some that opened later, thus shaving hundreds of thousands of dollars from each pic’s evening take. Bad weather is expected to continue in markets like New York, Philadelphia and Boston this weekend, and if there are multiplex closings tonight, it could impact business by as much 5%.
Heading into the weekend, projections for Fifty Shades Darker resided at $35M. However, Lego Batman‘s Thursday night cash could send it toward the upper echelon of $60M. Even through Fifty Shades Darker won’t be as sexy here in the states, it is expected to whip Lego Batman for the worldwide weekend win with $115M-$150M thanks to play in 57 offshore markets. Lego Batman is looking at $100M in global weekend ticket sales.
Two years ago, Fifty Shades Of Grey opened to $8.6M at 2,830 theaters on its first Thursday night, and slotted the second-best preview night for an R-rated movie behind the $10.4M made by The Hangover 2. But last year, Deadpool‘s Thursday night of $12.7M pushed Fifty Shades Of Grey to third. Fifty Shades Of Grey also once owned the top February opening record with $85.1M, until Deadpool pulled the rug out from underneath it with a massive $132.4M three-day.
Fifty Shades Of Grey‘s opening weekend broke down as follows: $30.3M on opening day (second best for February); $37.75M on Saturday, up 21% due to Valentine’s Day and Imax hubs; and a Sunday of $18.1M.
Fifty Shades Darker‘s advance ticket sales have been healthy — not as big as Fifty Shades Of Grey, obviously, but many expect those dollars to hit on Valentine’s Day and thus impact its five-day figure. Fifty Shades Darker, which was shot at the same time as its threequel Fifty Shades Freed, cost an estimated $55M before P&A.
When Zootopia opened last March, it went on to make $19.5M on its first Friday, and a $75M opening weekend. Lego Batman is also just under the $2.3M that Cinderella made on its Thursday before that Disney princess pic posted a $69.8M opening. The first Lego Movie made $400K after 10 PM Thursday night previews and went on to make $69M in its first weekend. Lego Batman will have the benefit of ticket surcharges from Imax, 3D, 2D, 4DX, and PLFs.
Lionsgate/Summit’s John Wick: Chapter 2, propelled by a 90% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes score (better than its first chapter of 85%), is expected to debut to north of $20M at 3,131 locations, besting its predecessor’s $14M opening.