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Weekend Wrap-Up: New Releases are the DUFFs to the Holdovers

February 24th, 2015

The DUFF poster

While there were three new releases to reach the top ten, the top three spots were held by holdovers. As expected, Fifty Shades of Grey won the box office race, but it did so with a much lower number. McFarland, USA was the strongest of the three new releases, while The DUFF earned the best per theater average. The less said about Hot Tub Time Machine 2's debut, the better. Overall, the box office fell 45% to $119 million compared to last weekend. At first glance, this is a disaster; however, this is a post holiday weekend and last week's number one film was artificially inflated at the box office due to hype and Valentine's Day. Compared to last year, the box office was 7% higher. This helped push 2015's lead over 2015 to 8.5% or $1.60 billion to $1.48 billion.

To say Fifty Shades of Grey plummeted is an understatement. It was down 74% to just $22.26 million for a total of $129.16 million after ten days of release. It was expected to drop, due to its Fangirl appeal and its reviews, but not this much. At this point, getting to $200 million is out of the question, unless it really bounces back next weekend. That said, it only cost $40 million to make, so it has already broken even.

Kingsman: The Secret Service came within a rounding error of expectations with $18.35 million over the weekend for a total $67.93 million. It is on pace to hit $100 million, barely. Its per theater average is still strong enough that it won't lose theaters this coming weekend, while its reviews should keep its box office strong for the coming weeks.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water remained in third place with $16.57 million over the weekend for a total of $126.25 million after three weeks of release. Its legs suggest a sizable chunk of the audience are adult fans of the show and not families. Either way, the film is on pace to top $150 million, which is more than enough to earn a profit before the home market and likely enough to justify another installment.

Instead of being the weakest of the three new releases, McFarland, USA was the strongest of the new releases with an opening of $11.02 million earning it fourth place. It should also benefit from the good reviews and the more mature target demographic, which should combine to give it better than average legs. That said, even $50 million will be tough to reach, meaning it will become a midlevel hit, but nothing more.

The Duff opened in fifth place with $10.81 million in just 2,575 theaters, which gave it the best per theater average of the three new releases. Its reviews are good, but the target audience tends to not stick around, so I doubt its legs will be great. On the other hand, the film reportedly cost less than $10 million to make and likely cost less than $30 million to make and advertise. As long as the film doesn't completely collapse next weekend, it will break even sometime during its home market run.

American Sniper fell to sixth place with $10.05 million over the weekend for a total of $320.01 million after nearly two months of release.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 only managed seventh place during its debut with $5.96 million in 2,880 theaters, for an average of $2,071. That's just above the Mendoza Line. Additionally, its reviews suggest bad word-of-mouth and theaters owners won't be interested in keeping it around too much longer, so its legs will be really short. Hot Tub Time Machine isn't the first comedy to be a surprise hit only to struggle when its sequel comes out.


Filed under: Weekend Wrap-up, Hot Tub Time Machine, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Fifty Shades of Grey, McFarland, USA, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, American Sniper, The DUFF