By Daniel Garris
Cinderella was off to a strong start this weekend with $67.88 million. Disney's well-received fairy tale adaptation opened on the high end of its lofty pre-release expectations (though it should be noted that the film was over-estimated by $2.17 million on Sunday). Cinderella also added some much needed life to what had been a slow start to the overall March box office. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Cinderella delivered the seventh largest debut ever for the month of March. The film opened just 2 percent below the $69.43 million start of last year's Maleficent, which was impressive given that unlike Maleficent, Cinderella didn't receive a bump from higher priced 3D admissions (though it did receive a bit of a bump from playing in IMAX locations).
Cinderella opened with $22.99 million on Friday (which included an estimated $2.3 million from evening shows on Thursday), increased 18 percent on Saturday to take in $27.06 million and declined 34 percent on Sunday to gross $17.83 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.95 to 1. Opening weekend business for Cinderella likely skewed higher than usual towards Friday for a family film due in part to some areas being on spring break and from the film skewing heavily towards female moviegoers (66 percent of the film's audience was female). The film's audience also skewed towards younger moviegoers (55 percent of the film's audience was 25 years and younger), with family audiences representing 66 percent of the film's overall audience.
Cinderella received a strong A rating on CinemaScore. That is a very good early sign for the film going forward, especially in combination with the film's strong critical reviews. However, in the short-term Cinderella will be facing major new competition next weekend from Lionsgate's The Divergent Series: Insurgent.
Warner's Run All Night opened in a distant second place with $11.01 million. The Liam Neeson led action thriller opened a bit below expectations. As the fourth Neeson-led action thriller in just over a year, Run All Night clearly had its potential limited by over-saturation. Run All Night likely also took a hit from male moviegoers waiting for both Warner's Get Hard and Universal's Furious 7 instead at this point. Run All Night opened 14 percent below the $12.76 million start of last year's A Walk Among the Tombstones, though going forward Run All Night may hold up better than A Walk Among the Tombstones did.
Run All Night started with $3.86 million on Friday (which included an estimated $455,000 from evening shows on Thursday), was up 16 percent on Saturday to take in $4.46 million and fell 39.5 percent on Sunday to gross $2.69 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.86 to 1. The audience breakdown for the film skewed heavily towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (86 percent) and slightly towards female moviegoers (52 percent). Run All Night received a healthy A- rating on CinemaScore, though positive word of mouth may not help the film all that much with Insurgent, Get Hard and Furious 7 all on the horizon.
It was an extremely tight race for places third through sixth this weekend, with third place and sixth place ultimately separated by just $528,820.
Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service continued to hold up very nicely this weekend with a third place take of $6.21 million. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth was up one spot and down just 25 percent from last weekend, as the film continues to be aided by both strong word of mouth and by lackluster direct competition. Kingsman: The Secret Service has grossed a stronger than expected $107.39 million through 31 days of release.
Warner's Focus placed in fourth with $5.74 million. The romantic heist film starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie was down two spots and a respectable 43 percent from last weekend. Focus has grossed $43.97 million in 17 days. That places the film 19 percent behind the $54.52 million 17-day take of 2013's After Earth, but that percentage gap will continue to close going forward.
Sony's CHAPPiE finished very closely behind Focus in fifth with $5.70 million. After leading the box office last weekend, the Neill Blomkamp directed sci-fi film was down four spots and a sharp 57 percent this weekend. In addition to poor critical reviews and mixed word of mouth, CHAPPiE also took a hit this weekend from losing IMAX screens to Cinderella. With a ten-day start of just $23.32 million, CHAPPiE is running a disappointing 58 percent behind the $56.00 million ten-day take of 2013's Elysium.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel placed in sixth with $5.69 million. The ensemble comedy sequel from Fox Searchlight was down three spots and just 33 percent from last weekend, though it should be noted that the film did expand into an additional 449 locations this weekend. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has grossed a very solid $18.05 million in ten days, which places it 24 percent behind the $23.69 million ten-day gross of last year's The Hundred-Foot Journey.
On the platform front, It Follows was off to a healthy start with $160,089 from four locations in New York and Los Angeles. That gave the critically acclaimed horror thriller from RADiUS-TWC a promising per-location average of $40,022 for the frame. It Follows will expand into additional locations next weekend.