NORTH AMERICA: 'Focus' Leads With $1.3 Million on Wednesday; 'Kingsman' Still Strong In Second Place; 'Fifty Shades' Crosses $150M Mark; 'Lazarus Effect' on March 05, 2015

feb27.pngWarner Bros. reports that Focus once again claimed first place on Wednesday with $1.29 million, bringing its six-day domestic total to $23.35 million. The Will Smith/Margot Robbie con artist pic is running about 4.5 percent behind the pace of 2011's Limitless.

Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service continued to display its holding power with another $0.89 million in second place yesterday, off just 33 percent from the same day last week. The graphic novel adaptation has earned an excellent $88.8 million domestically so far, putting it 3.5 percent ahead of the pace of 2003's Daredevil. Kingsman is also quickly catching up to the pace of 2007's Ghost Rider as the former title now trails that flick by just 8 percent at the same point.

Fifty Shades of Grey held onto third with $0.81 million added to its haul on Wednesday, down 54 percent from last week. The adaptation's domestic tally stands at $150.05 million through 20 days of release, 6 percent ahead of where Twilight stood. Grey also eclipsed the $500 million global box office mark yesterday.

In fourth place, The Lazarus Effect posted $0.45 million on Wednesday. With $11.84 million in the bank through six days of release, the horror flick is pacing 21 percent behind last year's Oculus.

Filling out the top five, McFarland, USA added $0.43 million for a healthy 34 percent week-to-week drop. The Kevin Costner sports drama has tallied $23.6 million domestically thus far.

'Fifty Shades' Passes $500M Worldwide on March 05, 2015


Fifty Shades of Grey passed the $500 million mark ahead of the weekend, with $150 million grossed in North America and $352 million overseas. The film holds the highest ever opening for an R-rated title worldwide and is Universal's third biggest opening in history. 

Fifty Shades has topped the box office for two consecutive weekends in North America and its opening across 3,646 theaters marked the biggest R-rated roll out of all time based on theater count. Other domestic records include the highest February three-day weekend of all time, the highest Valentine's Day debut of all time (three day), the highest Valentine's Day opener of all time ($36.8M), and the biggest President's Day weekend opener of all time (four day). 

Overseas, the film is Universal's highest grossing R-rated film ever. It had the biggest opening weekend for an R-rated film ever and set a record as Universal's highest grossing day ever at the international box office on Saturday, February 13 with $55 million. The film opened No. 1 in 55 territories to date and has been No. 1 at the overseas box office for three consecutive weekends. 


'Fifty Shades', 'SpongeBob', 'Kingsman', & 'American Sniper' Lead Third Best February On Record; 2015 YTD Box Office Remains at 5-Year High on March 03, 2015

feb15.pngBy Shawn Robbins

February's domestic box office closed out over $763.5 million, marking a 9 percent improvement over the same month last year. It also represents the third best February on record behind 2012 ($818.3 million) and 2009 ($770.2 million).

To no surprise, Fifty Shades of Grey was the month's top grossing flick as it rang up $145 million in its first 16 days of release. The first adaptation of the popular book series claimed the biggest February opening weekend in history with an $85.2 million 3-day bow, as well as the President's Day weekend record with just over $93 million in that extended 4-day frame.

In addition, Grey posted the fourth highest debut ever for an R-rated pic (trailing only The Matrix Reloaded, American Sniper, and The Hangover Part II). For distributor Universal, it was their largest opening weekend in history outside of the Fast & Furious franchise.

Arguably almost as impressive, though, were two other February releases. Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water blew away expectations with its $55.4 million opening weekend earlier in the month -- 73 percent higher than its 2004 predecessor. That well-received sequel has gone on to prove leggy as it accounted for $136.6 million through the end of the month.

The other standout performer has proven to be Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service. Its early international release and positive reviews complemented a solid marketing campaign in North America, leading to perfect counter-programming over the Valentine's/President's Day weekend and very healthy word of mouth ever since. The graphic novel adaptation continues director Matthew Vaughn's winning streak in the genre following X-Men: First Class and the original Kick-Ass. The stylized tribute, and often send-up, to spy movies bowed to $36.2 million and totaled a strong $82.6 million through February 28.

Kingsman has an excellent shot at topping the $102.5 million final domestic haul of 2003's Daredevil, with an outside chance at approaching Ghost Rider's $115.8 million back in 2007 (both of those comic book properties similarly opened over President's Day weekend).

Meanwhile, blockbuster holdover American Sniper added $85.4 million to its massive run. That film's total domestic gross stood at $328.9 million through the final day of the month, and will overtake both The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 ($336.7 million) and Guardians of the Galaxy ($333.2 million) as 2014's top earner before this coming weekend is up.

Other notable performers in February included Paddington's continued legs, positive word of mouth for modest opener McFarland, USA, The Imitation Game's strong awards season run, and The DUFF's sleeper-like success. Below you'll find February's top ten calendar grosses, including new releases and holdovers.

Year-to-date, 2015 remains 11 percent ahead of last year's $1.77 billion total box office earned through the first two months. As with January's and February's monthly grosses, that makes 2015's YTD haul the third highest ever behind 2010 ($1.81 billion) and 2009 ($1.79 billion).

Looking ahead, March promises to continue the year-over-year improvement with a new high profile film set for release every weekend this month. Neill Blomkamp's Chappie is tracking to open well (around the $20 million mark) over the March 6 frame thanks to strong interest from young males and fans of the filmmaker's District 9 and Elysium. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is also poised to benefit from its predecessor's goodwill over the coming weekend, while Unfinished Business is expected to debut modestly.

The weekend of March 13 brings Disney's latest potential hit in Cinderella, which should build on the studio's incredible success in revitalizing various fairy tale stories (Into the Woods, Maleficent, Frozen, Oz the Great and PowerfulAlice in Wonderland) in recent years, as well as the Liam Neeson-Ed Harris thriller, Run All Night.

Later in the month, March 20 brings the sequel to Divergent, dubbed The Divergent Series: Insurgent, as well as the Christian-themed Do You Believe? and The Gunman. The final weekend of the month will see comedy superstars Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart team up for Get Hard. DreamWorks' Home opens over that same frame.

The average March over the past five years has yielded $817 million in ticket sales. We think that figure's attainable given the variety of appealing options moviegoers will have on top of February's holdovers.

February 2015's Top 10 Box Office Performers

1. Fifty Shades of Grey ($145 million, 16 days)
2. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water ($136.6 million, 23 days)
3. American Sniper ($85.4 million, 28 days)
4. Kingsman: The Secret Service ($82.6 million, 16 days)
5. Jupiter Ascending ($42.5 million, 23 days)
6. Paddington ($21.1 million, 28 days)
7. McFarland, USA ($19.8 million, 9 days)
8. The Imitation Game ($19.3 million, 28 days)
9. The DUFF ($18.3 million, 9 days)
10. Seventh Son ($16.6 million, 23 days)

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NORTH AMERICA: Weekend Actuals: 'Focus' Leads Lackluster Weekend with $18.7M; 'The Lazarus Effect' Debuts in Fifth with $10.2M on March 02, 2015


By Daniel Garris

As was widely expected, Warner's Focus debuted in first place this weekend with $18.69 million. However, the romantic heist film starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie did perform a bit below pre-release expectations. Focus opened a lackluster 32 percent below the $27.52 million start of 2013's After Earth, though it should be noted that Focus was far less expensive than After Earth and will likely hold up significantly better than After Earth did after opening weekend. With that said, the debut of Focus further suggests that Smith's drawing power at the box office is nowhere near the level it once was.

Focus debuted with $6.45 million on Friday (which included an estimated $900,000 from Thursday night shows), increased 18 percent on Saturday to take in $7.63 million and declined 40 percent on Sunday to claim $4.59 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.90 to 1 (though it should be noted that Friday's grosses were deflated a bit in general by winter weather in parts of the country). The film received a respectable B rating on CinemaScore. The audience breakdown for Focus skewed towards female moviegoers (53 percent) and heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (88 percent).

It was a tight race for spots two through five this weekend, as second place and fifth place were separated by just $1.68 million.

Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service took in $11.88 million to claim second place for a third consecutive weekend. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth was down a very solid 35 percent from last weekend. Kingsman: The Secret Service continues to inch closer to the $100 million domestic mark with a stronger than expected 17-day take of $85.83 million. That places the film an impressive 46 percent ahead of the $58.82 million 17-day gross of 2010's Red.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water held steady in third place this weekend with $10.82 million. Thanks in part to facing no new direct competition for family audiences, Paramount's 3D animated film stabilized nicely this weekend, as it was down 35 percent from last weekend. The SpongeBob Movie continues to exceed expectations with a strong 24-day take of $139.94 million and is running 32 percent ahead of the $106.34 million 24-day take of 2011's Rango.

After leading the box office each of the past two weekends, Fifty Shades of Grey fell three spots to land in fourth place with $10.56 million. Universal's successful erotic romantic drama was down a sharp 53 percent from last weekend, but showed relative signs of stabilization after last weekend's massive percentage decline. While it's proving to be very front-loaded, Fifty Shades of Grey has grossed a very strong $147.39 million in 17 days, which places it a sizable 47.5 percent ahead of the $99.92 million 17-day take of 2010's Valentine's Day.

The Lazarus Effect debuted in fifth place with $10.20 million. The low-budget PG-13 rated horror film from Relativity had been widely expected to open slightly higher, but was still off to a solid start this weekend given its cost. It should also be noted that online activity levels before the film's release were soft by horror film standards. The Lazarus Effect opened 15 percent below the $12.01 million start of Relativity's Oculus last April.

The Lazarus Effect opened with $3.79 million on Friday (which included an estimated $350,000 from Thursday night shows), increased a healthy 15 percent on Saturday to take in $4.37 million and declined 53 percent on Sunday to gross $2.05 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.69 to 1, which is a promising sign for a horror film. On the other hand, The Lazarus Effect received a C- rating on CinemaScore, which isn't the greatest early sign (even by horror film standards).

Disney's McFarland, USA held up very nicely in its second weekend, as it was down just 29 percent to place in sixth with $7.84 million. The sports drama starring Kevin Costner continues to perform on the high end of expectations with $22.02 million in ten days. That places the film 14 percent ahead of the $19.36 million ten-day take of last year's Draft Day (which fell 42 percent in its second weekend to gross $5.71 million). This weekend's hold is a strong sign for McFarland, USA going forward.

Warner's American Sniper continued to hold up very well this weekend with a seventh place take of $7.39 million. The blockbuster Clint Eastwood directed Best Picture nominee starring Bradley Cooper was down a slim 26 percent from last weekend. American Sniper has grossed a massive $330.82 million to date and is now on the verge of surpassing the $336.72 million current total gross of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 to become the highest grossing release of 2014 domestically.

The DUFF also held up well this weekend with an eighth place gross of $6.87 million. The low-budget PG-13 comedy from CBS Films and Lionsgate was down 36 percent from last weekend's stronger than expected start. The DUFF continues to exceed expectations with $19.77 million in ten days. That places the film 19.5 percent ahead of the $16.55 million ten-day take of last year's That Awkward Moment (which fell 40 percent in its second weekend to gross $5.24 million).

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