Sunday, February 15, 2015

Box Office Update: Sex Sells

The film adaptation of the erotic E L James book "Fifty Shades of Grey" took in lots of coin on the day of love to earn the top sot at the cineplex--all but assuring that the 2 other books in the trilogy will turn into movies.

The frame's other wide release Kingsman: The Secret Service--based on the comic book created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons-also exceeded expectations...

Pamela McClintock of THR:

Universal's Fifty Shades of Grey enjoyed a massive bump on Valentine's Day, putting the female-fueled film adaptation of EL James' S&M-laced romance novel on course to earn a mighty $90.7 million in North American over the long Presidents Day holiday.

That includes $81.7 million for the three-day weekend, the No. 2 February opening after Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ ($83.8 million), and the biggest Valentine's Day/Presidents Day gross of all time, not accounting for inflation. It is also the No. 4 opening for an R-rated title. The record-holder is the R-rated The Matrix Reloaded, which posted a three-day debut of $91.8 million in 2003.

The numbers for Fifty Shades could shift when final four-day estimates are released Monday morning. Perhaps most surprising is that males made up 32 percent of the audience, according to Universal (some exit polling services had a lower figure).

Overseas, the results are even more astounding for Universal. Fifty Shades opened to a record-breaking $158 million from 58 markets — the highest opening ever for an R-rated film and the second best for Universal after Fast & Furious 6 ($160.3 million). That puts Fifty Shades' global launch at a potent $248.7 million, a number usually reserved for all audience tentpoles.

Domestically, Fifty Shades easily bested the $63.1 million opening of Valentine's Day in 2010 to tie up the best showing of all time for the holiday. Fifty Shades is playing in 3,646 locations, the widest release to date for an R-rated film. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, the movie Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.

Females made up the vast majority of the audience overall (68 percent), but couples turned out in force on Saturday to celebrate Valentine's Day. The movie earned $36.7 million for the day — a hefty 21 percent spike despite a middling C+ CinemaScore (box office pundits aren't surprised by the CinemaScore, considering the subject matter).

To say the movie's global launch is a blockbuster start for Universal is an understatement, taking into account that it cost a relatively modest $40 million to make. James' trilogy is a global phenomenon, and the film quickly followed suit, delivering a new franchise for the studio. The Fifty Shades books have been translated into 52 languages and sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.

The weekend's second new release, Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Secret Service, is no slouch either. The Fox film grossed an estimated $35.6 million for the three days for a $41 million debut over the long holiday, well ahead of expectations.

From Fox, Kingsman succeeded in serving as counterprogramming by providing an alternative for males, as well as females not so interested in Fifty Shades. It likewise saw a big bump on Valentine's Day, soaring 47 percent from Friday.

The movie, described as James Bond-meets-Kick-Ass, stars Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson. The $80 million-plus film has received far better reviews than Fifty Shades, as well as a stronger exits and a B+ CinemaScore,

In the film, Firth plays a quirky spy training his young, sometimes stubborn, recruits. Kingsman is playing in 3,204 locations.

Elsewhere at the North American box office, Clint Eastwood's American Sniper is jumping the $300 million mark, while The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water will finish its second weekend with $100.7 million in ticket sales.

Next Up: The comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is here. The 2010 original film follows four men, bored and unhappy with their lives, who travel back in time via a hot tub to a fateful night during their teen aged years in the 1980s.

While co-stars Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke are set to reprise their roles for the follow-up, lead star John Cusack is not involved. Adam Scott will play an entirely new lead in the film.

In the comedy The Duff we meet Bianca (Parenthood's Mae Whitman), a high school senior whose world is turned upside down when she discovers she's been labeled her social group's Duff (designated ugly fat friend), a sidekick of sorts to her prettier, more popular friends (Skyler Samuels & Bianca Santos). She asks her jock neighbor (Robbie Amell) to give her a social makeover so that she can ask out the object of her unrequited affections (Nick Eversman). Bianca is determined to reinvent herself, enlisting her fellow DUFFs in a scheme to overthrow Madison (Bella Thorne), the school's evil queen.

The movie  McFarland USA is based on the true story of a track-and-field coach (Kevin Costner) living in the California town in 1980 who put together a team of the mostly Latino youths in his area and tells the story of how they "overcame many social and physical hurdles to become champions."

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