B.O. Roundup, February 20-22: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Drops Steeply but Stays at #1

Sunday, 22 February 2015 14:06 Written by  iamrogue
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B.O. Roundup, February 20-22: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Drops Steeply but Stays at #1

After its record-breaking opening last week, Fifty Shades of Grey could only take a dive over Oscar weekend. 

And dive it did, declining a whopping 73% based on current estimates, which indicate that the erotic drama earned $23.2 million from 3,655 theaters in North America. 

With the frenzy that accompanied its Presidents Day debut, Fifty Shades of Grey was bound to be front-loaded, burning off demand quickly.  Since neither word of mouth nor reviews have been kind to the BDSM blockbuster, though, the decline in attendance was steeper than anticipated.

Even a 73% drop couldn't couldn't keep the cinematic introduction to Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey from the top of the box office heap.  Fifty Shades of Grey remains a gargantuan hit, bringing its domestic total to over $130 million in just ten days.  It's cleaning up globally, too, earning $280.5 million internationally for a worldwide total of $410.6 million.  For a movie with a production budget of $40 million, an R-rating, terrible reviews, and no major stars, that's pretty remarkable.

Still, if rumors are to be believed, the movie's success may well be pouring fuel on the fire behind the scenes: author EL James and Universal are reportedly jockeying over power, holding up progress on the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker.

Kingsman: The Secret Service was the runner-up for the second consecutive weekend, bringing its ten-day total to an estimated $67.1 million.  In third place, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water continued its crazy-successful run, having now earned over $125 million domestic.

Which brings us to the first of this weekend's new releases, the latest in Disney's string of inspirational, based-on-a-true-story sports dramas.  McFarland, USA opened in fourth place, earning an estimated $11.3 million from 2,755 theaters in the U.S. and Canada.  That's a bit above Disney's Million Dollar Arm, which opened to the tune of $10.5 million last summer.  It's also a bit above the debut of Kevin Costner's last sports movie, Draft Day ($9.8 million last April).  It's lower than Relativity's Costner-starring action thriller Three Days a Kill, which earned $12.2 million a year ago.

High school comedy The DUFF cracked the top five and exceeded commercial expectations thanks in small part to positive reviews and strong word of mouth kicked up by a busy screening lineup.  The DUFF opened in 2,575 theaters from which it grossed $11.0 million, according to estimates.  So the teen movie has already zipped past its $8.5 million production budget.

The weekend's final new release, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, came in seventh place behind polarizing mega-hit American Sniper.  The proudly juvenile comedy sequel grossed an estimated $5.8 million from 2,880 theaters.  That's way lower than the $14.0 million Hot Tub Time Machine earned when it opened in 2010.  That 58% drop from one movie to another is due to a few things, but we're pointing at the five year gap between the first and second as a particularly big one.  Absolutely horrible reviews also probably played a big part.

Peep the top ten movies in North America right here:

1. Fifty Shades of Grey............................................................................$23.2 million...............$130.1 million

2. Kingsman: The Secret Service...........................................................$17.5 million...............$67.1 million

3. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water..................................$15.5 million...............$125.1 million

4. McFarland, USA...................................................................................$11.3 million...............New Release

5. The DUFF..............................................................................................$11.0 million...............New Release

6. American Sniper..................................................................................$9.6 million.................$319.6 million

7. Hot Tub Time Machine 2......................................................................$5.8 million.................New Release

8. Jupiter Ascending...............................................................................$3.6 million.................$39.5 million

9. The Imitation Game.............................................................................$2.5 million.................$83.9 million

10. Paddington.........................................................................................$2.2 million.................$67.6 million

Next weekend brings to very different movies into the box office fray.  There's Focus, the Will Smith-Margot Robbie con man movie, but more importantly, there's The Lazarus Effect, a horror movie with actual scares and a cast that includes Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Donald Glover, and Evan Peters.

Check back next week, same Rogue time, same Rogue channel, to see if The Lazarus Effect or Focus knock Fifty Shades of Grey from its perch at number one.


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