NORTH AMERICA: Early Weekend Estimates: 'Focus' Eyes $18.5M Opening Frame; 'Kingsman' Remains Strong w/ $10.8M; 'The Lazarus Effect' Scares Up $9.2M on February 28, 2015


Saturday Update: Warner Bros. reports that Focus earned an estimated $6.47 million for its opening day, easily taking first place on Friday. The Will Smith-Margot Robbie con artist flick debuted just under Limitless' $6.6 million first day back in 2011. Unfortunately, early word of mouth appears very mixed as the film received a "B" CinemaScore and sits at a 66 percent user rating on Rotten Tomatoes this morning (where critics disapprove even more at 56 percent). Still, the film's adult-skewing appeal could balance out some of the early complaints about the film throughout the weekend. BoxOffice is projecting an opening frame of $18.5 million.

Relativity's The Lazarus Effect debuted to $3.8 million on Friday as it claimed second place for the day, nearly 24 percent lower than last year's Oculus. The horror pic's early buzz isn't heading in the right direction, though: only 33 percent of Rotten Tomatoes users approve of the film so far, while critics have given it an even lower 14 percent. Given the natural tendency for horror pics to drop off quickly, expect the same here. BoxOffice projects a $9.2 million opening weekend.

Fifty Shades of Grey slid into third place yesterday with $3.5 million, down another 56.5 percent from last Friday. The erotic drama has taken in $140.3 million domestically through 15 days of release, putting it 8 percent ahead of the original Twilight. BoxOffice projects a $9.9 million third weekend.

Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service continues to display strong holding power as it eased 41 percent from last Friday to $3.12 million in fourth place. The graphic novel adaptation has earned an impressive $77.1 million domestically to date, putting it 1 percent ahead of Daredevil and 31 percent ahead of Jumper through their same release points. Kingsman will also surpass the latter film's final domestic gross of $80.2 million over the weekend. Look for a weekend total around $10.8 million.

Filling out the top five yesterday was The DUFF, down just 50 percent from opening day last week to $2.14 million. The sleeper hit's 8-day total stands at just over $15 million, putting it 15 percent ahead of the pace of That Awkward Moment. BoxOffice projects a $6.5 million weekend.

Three well-received holdovers fought for space just outside the top five yesterday. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water dropped 47.5 percent to $2.11 million, giving it a strong $131.2 total thus far and setting it on course for an $8.9 million frame.

McFarland, USA was off just 45 percent from opening day last week to $1.99 million, bringing its 8-day total to $16.2 million (in line with Draft Day's $15.8 million sum through the same point) as the latest Kevin Costner sports drama eyes a $6.8 million sophomore frame.

Meanwhile, American Sniper added another $1.9 million (off just 30 percent from last Friday), giving it $325.3 million in all domestically. The blockbuster flick should land around $7 million this weekend, and is currently on pace to surpass The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 by next weekend to officially become 2014's highest grossing release.

Check BoxOffice on Sunday for official weekend estimates from the studios.

Friday Update #2: Sources tell BoxOffice that Focus will be the #1 opening this weekend with a respectable $23 million. The Lazarus Effect is on pace for $12 million.

Check back tomorrow for updated projections and official studio figures.

Friday Update #1: Warner Bros. reports that Focus bowed to a solid $900,000 from Thursday pre-shows. Comparisons for con artist flicks are fairly slim, but last night's showing from the Will Smith/Margot Robbie pic was noticeably ahead of the $550,000 posted by Monuments Men last February and just under the $1.3 million of Gone Girl in October.

Prior to release, tracking had been suggesting an opening weekend north of $20 million to be likely. Last night's results back that up so far.

Also opening this weekend is The Lazarus Effect, which pulled a reported $350,000 from 8pm and later shows last night. By comparison, last April's Oculus earned $480,000 from Thursday night shows.

More as it comes.

NORTH AMERICA: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Seizes $136.8M in Two Weeks; 'Kingsman' Claims $73.9M on February 27, 2015


By Daniel Garris

Universal's Fifty Shades of Grey took in $1.79 million on Thursday to continue to lead the daily box office. The successful erotic romantic drama was up 1 percent over Wednesday's performance and down a sizable 58 percent from last Thursday. With Warner's Focus arriving in theatres today, Fifty Shades of Grey is widely expected to fall out of first place this weekend. Fifty Shades of Grey was the week's top film with a weekly take of $29.93 million. That was down a massive 72 percent from the film's opening week performance. Despite the second weekend decline, Fifty Shades of Grey continues to perform very well with $136.84 million through two weeks of release.

Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service held steady in second place with $1.36 million. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation was up 3 percent over Wednesday and down a solid 41 percent from last Thursday. Kingsman claimed second place for the week with $24.36 million. That was down a respectable 51 percent from the film's opening week performance and brings the film's two-week total to a stronger than expected $73.95 million.

Warner's American Sniper took in $0.822 million to remain in third place. The blockbuster Clint Eastwood directed film starring Bradley Cooper was up 4 percent over Wednesday and down just 29 percent from last Thursday. American Sniper placed in fifth for the week with $13.45 million. That represented a 40 percent decline from the previous frame and places the film's total gross at $323.41 million after 42 days of wide release.

McFarland, USA stayed in fourth place with $0.740 million. After experiencing a very sharp daily percentage decline on Wednesday, Disney's well received sports drama starring Kevin Costner rebounded nicely on Thursday by increasing 12 percent over Wednesday. McFarland, USA took fourth place this week with a seven-day start of $14.18 million, which was on the higher end of pre-release expectations.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water rounded out the day's unchanged top five with $0.675 million. The successful 3D animated film from Paramount was up 14 percent over Wednesday and down 65 percent from last Thursday. The SpongeBob Movie took third place for the week with $19.45 million. That was down a sharp 58 percent from the previous week and brings the film's three-week total to $129.12 million.

The DUFF rounded out its first week of release with a sixth place take of $0.675 million. The low-budget PG-13 rated comedy from CBS Films and Lionsgate was up 17 percent over Wednesday, which is a good sign for the film heading into the weekend. The DUFF exceeded expectations this week with a $12.90 million sixth place start for the frame.

Meanwhile, Paramount's Hot Tub Time Machine 2 continued to drown with a seventh place gross of $0.389 million. The low-budget R-rated comedy sequel was down a troubling 7 percent from Wednesday. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 landed in seventh place for the week with a very disappointing seven-day take of just $7.87 million.

Twitter Futures - 'The Divergent Seeries: Insurgent' Remains In Control on February 27, 2015


By Alex Edghill

Friday Morning Update: With a double helping of deja vu, Insurgent led all films for the past week in Twitter buzz with 220,571, its third week atop the upcoming film list on the service. I was a bit skeptical at its breakout chances last column and while much of my previous comments still cast doubt over its potential I must say that its expansion and consistently high tweet numbers are an exceedingly good sign that has erased many of my doubts. A big part of its reason for the threepeat is the release of its final trailer on Tuesday which saw it account for just shy of 80,000 tweets. This is its highest tweet day on record and indeed a very positive sign for its box office potential as films generally tend to see the lowest buzz for their last trailer for release, not the opposite. This has a very real shot at being number one or two for the next three weeks as well barring any major trailers dropping.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron walked away with second spot on the week thanks in combination to a new TV spot and character specific posters being released mid-week. Perhaps one of the easiest predictions of 2015 is that this is going to be the biggest opener on the year considering that the last film made $207 million on opening weekend rode a massive wave of positive buzz from then till now.

The rest of the top five was rounded out with Focus, Cinderella and Furious 7, so basically no surprises there. Focus opens this Friday so its in full swing because of release buzz. The only reason it wasn't high was due to its very common name which led to a restrictive tweet string being used to flag tweets. Cinderella continues to be on my break-out list for the year and a dark horse for a top 10 spot, and with family audiences having slim pickings so far on the year I'd expect it to have a very strong run into May.

Twitter Top 10 Movies for the week of February 20th to February 26th

Date Movie Tweets Rank Change
3/20/15 The Divergent Series: Insurgent 220,571 1 (-) 88.45%
5/01/15 Avengers: Age of Ultron 141,495 2 (+2) 354.49%
2/27/15 Focus (2015) 53,057 3 (-1) 57.41%
3/13/15 Cinderella (2015) 26,892 4 (+4) 18.73%
4/03/15 Furious 7 26,573 5 (-) -10.14%

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Please check the methodology page for information about our Twitter project or here for historic data.

NORTH AMERICA: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Cracks $135M Mark on Wednesday; 'Kingsman' Still Strong'; 'American Sniper' Moves Back Into Third Place on February 26, 2015

feb20wknd.pngUniversal reports that Fifty Shades of Grey took in $1.77 million on Wednesday, representing a 58 percent drop from the same day last week. To date, the adaptation has earned $135.05 million domestically (9 percent ahead of the pace of Twilight).

Kingsman: The Secret Service remained in second place yesterday as it eased 40 percent from last Wednesday to $1.33 million. The graphic novel pic has grossed an impressive $72.6 million through 13 days of release. That put its 25.5 percent ahead of the pace of Jumper and 0.5 percent ahead of 2003's Daredevil.

American Sniper added another $0.79 million in third place on Wednesday, down 24 percent from last week and bringing its domestic haul up to $322.6 million.

Disney's McFarland, USA accounted for $0.66 million in fourth place yesterday. The pic has accumulated $13.4 million through six days of release, nearly 6 percent ahead of the pace of fellow Kevin Costner sports drama Draft Day.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water took in $0.59 million yesterday for a 68 percent week-to-week drop. The sequel has brought in $128.5 million domestically thus far.

The DUFF added $0.44 million in sixth place, giving it a six-day total of $12.4 million. The surprise box office success is outpacing That Awkward Moment by 16 percent.

Meanwhile, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 took in $0.42 million yesterday for a six-day haul of $7.5 million. The sequel is trailing its predecessor by 59 percent through the same point in release.

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