The film adaptation of the erotic E L James book "Fifty Shades of Grey" stays #1 despite a big drop... The comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2 bombs. The comedy The Duff is bested by the feel good sports movie McFarland USA. The sequel SpongeBob SquarePants: Sponge Out of Water and Kingsman: The Secret Service held up due to the weak performance of the newcomers.
Pamela McClintock of THR:
Universal's Fifty Shades of Grey declined a massive 73 percent in its second outing in North America, suggesting that most of the movie's sizzle came during the first weekend.
Still, the film adaptation of EL James' S&M-laced romance novel has nothing to be embarrassed about. Fifty Shades easily stayed No. 1 with $23.2 million as it raced past the $400 million mark globally. Overseas, Fifty Shades is far more of a powerhouse, grossing another $68.1 million for an international total of $280.5 million. Its domestic total is $130.1 million.
Everyone was expecting a big falloff in the U.S., considering Fifty Shades' record-breaking $85 million debut over Valentine's Day and Presidents Day weekend, although it declined more than other female-fueled properties based on a book (as an example, The Fault in Our Stars fell 70 percent). Fifty Shades ranks roughly No. 35 on the list of biggest declines.
One contributing factor could be more bad weather on the East Coast and in the Southeast, impacting moviegoing overall.
Fifty Shades, along with holdovers Kingsman: The Secret Service and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, all fended off a trio of new offerings at the domestic box office — Hot Tub Time Machine 2, teen comedy The DUFF and the inspirational sports drama McFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner. Generally speaking, moviegoing will slow substantially Sunday because of the Academy Award ceremony.
Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman stayed No. 2 in its second weekend, falling 52 percent to $17.5 million for a domestic total of $67.1 million. Paramount's SpongeBob, now in its third weekend, claimed the No. 3 spot with a $15.5 million for a cume of $125.2 million.
McFarland, an inspirational sports pic going after families, fared the best of the three new films, narrowly edging out The DUFF with $11.3 million. The movie, nabbing an A CinemaScore, stars Costner as Jim White, the real-life coach who teamed with underdog kids to build a championship cross-country team at McFarland High School, a predominately Hispanic school in McFarland, Calif.
The Disney film, with a $25 million production budget, was originally supposed to open in November. Directed by Niki Caro, McFarland also stars Carlos Pratts, Valente Rodriguez, Maria Bello and Morgan Saylor.
One of the surprises of the weekend was teen comedy The DUFF, which outperformed expectations with $11 million, thanks to girls. Females made up 75 percent of ticket buyers; 68 percent were under the age of 25, while 48 percent were under the age of 18.
The DUFF is the first CBS Films title to be released by Lionsgate per their new partnership. Mae Whitman (Parenthood) stars as Bianca, who makes herself over after learning she's the "designated ugly fat friend" of two girls who are more popular. The ensemble cast also includes Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Bianca A. Santos and Skyler Samuels.
From Paramount and MGM, Hot Tub Time Machine is the weekend's big disappointment. It was expected to earn in the mid-teens, but grossed $5.8 million after earning a C- CinemaScore, putting it at No. 7. The good news is that the male-fueled pic cost a modest $14 million to make.
Director Steve Pink's Hot Tub sequel, opening nearly five years after the first film debuted to $14 million, returns most of the original cast, including Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clarke Duke and Chevy Chase, though no John Cusack. Adam Scott appears as a new castmember. This time out, the crew inadvertently land in the future.
At the specialty box office, Sony Pictures Classics opened the Oscar-nominated Wild Tales in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The dark comedy, from Argentina, is nominated for best foreign-language film and earned a pleasing $85,131 for a screen average of $21,283
Next Up: In the heist thriller "Focus" a veteran con man (Will Smith) who gets romantically involved with a newcomer to the con business. They get involved which becomes perilous in a business where you lie and cheat for a living.
Rodrigo Santoro plays the magnetic and powerful owner of an international auto racing team. He seeks Margot Robbie's affections, and hires Smith to gain a competitive edge for his racing team.
Salma Hayek is kicking ass in director Joe Lynch's revenge pic Everly as it goes wide.
From horror film company Blumhouse Productions comes The Lazarus Effect follows a group of researchers led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and his fiancée Zoe (Olivia Wilde), who’ve achieved the unimaginable- bringing the dead back to life. After a successful, yet unsanctioned, trial on a newly deceased animal, the team is ready to unveil their breakthrough to the world. When the dean of their university learns of their underground experiments, their project is unexpectedly shut down and their materials confiscated. Frank, Zoe, and their team (Donald Glover, Sarah Bolger and Evan Peters) take matters into their own hands, launching a rogue attempt to recreate their experiment, during which things go terribly wrong and one of their own, Zoe, is horrifically killed. Fueled by terror and grief, Frank pushes them to do the unthinkable: attempt to resurrect their first human test subject.