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Box Office Report: 'Fifty Shades' Climax Beats Rabbits and Heroes


Box Office Report: 'Fifty Shades' Climax Beats Rabbits and Heroes

Feb 12, 2018

Fifty Shades FreedHere's your estimated 3-day box office returns (new releases bolded):

1. Fifty Shades Freed - $38.8 million ($38.8 million total)

2. Peter Rabbit - $25.0 million ($25.0 million total)

3. The 15:17 to Paris - $12.6 million ($12.6 million total)

4. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle - $9.8 million ($365.6 million total)

5. The Greatest Showman - $6.4 million ($146.5 million total)

6. Maze Runner: The Death Cure - $6.9 million ($49.0 million total)

7. Winchester - $5.0 million ($17.1 million total)

8. The Post - $3.5 million ($72.8 million total)

9. The Shape of Water - $3.0 million ($49.7 million total)

10. Den of Thieves - $2.8 million ($40.9 million total)

 

The Big Stories

Moviegoers this weekend got to choose between the climax of a tempestuous relationship, a real-life terrorist attack and an author’s most notable creation doing unspeakable things with a carrot. While any of these can certainly suggest Fifty Shades Freed, viewers certainly had their choice. Women could go see how their kinky fairy tale ended. Men had the opportunity to watch the recreation of bravery in action by the guys who narrowly escaped greater tragedy. And kids can find out new ways to play with carrots. But only one could win the weekend labeled the calm before the Black Panther.

 

Freed At Last

When Fifty Shades of Grey made its debut in 2015 with $85.1 million, it became the biggest opening ever in February. (It was surpassed handily the following year when  Deadpool opened to $132.4 million.) But the film also joined another exclusive club of films released in over 3,000 theaters that failed to reach double their opening. That group includes the following films:

The 2009 Friday the 13th reboot, the 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Wolfman remakes, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, The Grudge 2, Paranormal Activity 3 and 4, Saw IV, V and VI, Burnt, Hardcore Henry, Doom, Battlefield Earth, Elektra, Warcraft, Valentine’s Day, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Cloverfield, Watchmen, Sucker Punch and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Not a great track record for Zack Snyder there. (BvS is the only film ever released in more than 4,000 theaters to not hit the 2x multiple.) Fifty Shades Darker had a better advantage, opening to just $46.6 million and going on to gross $114.4 million. The slight drop of Fifty Shades Freed to a $38.8 million opening is hardly a big deal. Even if it split the difference of the previous multiples, it is still looking at around $85 million domestic. However, it is the combined $670 million made internationally that has propelled the $1.1 billion series to be another of Universal’s incredibly successful franchises. (The three films cost a total of $150 million plus P&A and the new one has already made $98 million overseas.) Just wait until they spin this series off with the Grey bodyguards – SAWYER and PRESCOTT! They can team up with Hobbs and Shaw from Fast and Furious and then ultimately with the Minions to take over the world with quality-challenged franchises. The three Fifty Shades films garnered critical scores of 25%, 10% and now 11% at Rotten Tomatoes.

 

Tales of the Top Ten

Fifty Shades’ competition finished second and third on the chart but combined could not match the #1 gross. Sony’s Peter Rabbit started with $25 million to the horror of all the Paddington 2 supporters out there. The 58%-approved, $50 million film opened just under Gnomeo & Juliet, but did better than Sony’s The Emoj Movie and Open Season. With little family fare on the horizon until A Wrinkle in Time on March 9, it’s not out of the question that it will stretch itself to over $80 million.

Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris came nowhere close to matching his two previous American hero tales – American Sniper and Sully – and was even less than his adaptation of Jersey Boys, which opened to $13.3 million in June 2014. Actually, $12.6 million seems about right, considering audiences have not exactly responded to reliving real-life terrorist incidents like Paul Greengrass’ United 93 ($11.4 opening / $31.4 total) and Patriots Day ($11.6 opening / $31.8 total). Greengrass’ Captain Phillips managed to gross over $107 million, but it was far better received than 15:17. In the true Rotten Tomatoes era of 1998-to-present, the lowest-rated Eastwood film was J. Edgar (43%.) The 15:17 to Paris received a paltry 20% from critics.

It took the strength of three films to knock Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle down the chart but it will nevertheless soon surpass Spider-Man 2 as the second-highest grossing domestic film in Sony’s history and a total of $881 million and counting worldwide that makes it the studio’s third-biggest ever. Fox is not doing too shabby, either, with The Greatest Showman headed to pass both Les Miserables and La La Land domestically. It has now passed $300 million worldwide.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure is no standout in America with just $48.7 million, but with over $200 million worldwide, it is also into profit. The Post has passed Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies domestically and is now over $123 million internationally. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water will be passing $50 million on Monday. Stay tuned for next weekend, as Black Panther will take the crown for the biggest February opening ever. It could surpass Get Out’s entire gross in a single weekend and then follow to become the biggest release of this month ever with over $371 million.


Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[Box office figures via Box Office Mojo.]

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