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Weekend Estimates: Fifty Shades Holds Top Spot After Big Fall

February 22nd, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey poster

A 73% second-weekend drop won’t be enough to keep Fifty Shades of Grey out of its top spot on the weekend box office chart, according to studio estimates released on Sunday. With another $23.25 million in the bank, the erotic drama has amassed $130 million after two weekends domestically, and has now taken over $400 million worldwide.

This relative weakness in Fifty Shades' second outing isn’t a big surprise given its fervent fanbase, who are more likely to attend on the first weekend, its mediocre reviews, and the fact that last weekend was a holiday, which can increase the box office take substantially. Perhaps more to the point, taking the top spot twice and reaching $400 million is enough. Universal already has every incentive to continue the franchise.

Second and third places this weekend go to two other returning films that are also set to fall more than 50% from last weekend’s totals: Kingsman: The Secret Service will post $17.5 million for $67 million after two weekends, and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water adds $15.5 million to take its tally to $125 million after three. While it is a substantial decrease, this is a more typical second-weekend drop.

With three returning films at the top of the chart, one might expect news to be bad for openers, but actually two films are posting relatively good figures. McFarland, USA is projected to open with $11.3 million for Disney, and The DUFF will post around $11 million for CBS Films—a promising start to their new distribution partnership with Lionsgate. The two films are close enough that they could swap places when final figures are reported on Monday.

The remaining wide opener looks like nothing but bad news for Paramount. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is getting awful reviews, and could only muster $5.8 million on debut. With a theater average barely at the $2,000 mark, the film will fade rapidly from theaters, though it may have a bit of a second life on VOD.

In limited releases, Wild Tales is easily the best performer on a per theater basis, with an opening projected at $85,100 from four theaters, for an average of $21,275. Also doing very well is Triumph in the Skies, which will earn an average around $15,000 from 12 venues, although its distributor has not announced an official weekend estimate.

- Weekend Estimates

Bruce Nash,

Filed under: Weekend Box Office, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Fifty Shades of Grey, McFarland, USA, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, The DUFF, Relatos salvages