'Focus' Leads Slow Frame with $19.1M; 'The Lazarus Effect' Debuts in Fifth with $10.6MMarch 01, 2015 08:49 AM

by Daniel Garris

As was widely expected, Warner's Focus debuted in first place this weekend with an estimated $19.1 million. However, the romantic heist film starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie did perform slightly below pre-release expectations. Focus opened a lackluster 31 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 $6.47 million on Friday (which included an estimated $900,000 from Thursday night shows), increased 18 percent on Saturday to take in $7.66 million and is estimated to decline 35 percent on Sunday to claim $4.98 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at a very solid 2.95 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).

Focus took in $2.08 million from IMAX locations, which represented 10.9 percent of the film's overall gross this weekend.

It was a tight race for places two through five this weekend, as second place and fifth place were separated by just an estimated $1.15 million.

Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service took in an estimated $11.75 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 36 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 $85.69 million. That places the film an impressive 52.5 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 an estimated $11.2 million. Thanks in part to facing no new direct competition from family audiences, Paramount's 3D animated film stabilized nicely this weekend, as it was down 32 percent from last weekend. The SpongeBob Movie continues to exceed expectations with a strong 24-day take of $140.32 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 an estimated $10.93 million. Universal's successful erotic romantic drama was down a sharp 51 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 $147.76 million in 17 days, which places it a sizable 48 percent ahead of the $99.92 million 17-day take of 2010's Valentine's Day.

The Lazarus Effect debuted in fifth place with an estimated $10.6 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 12 percent below the $12.01 million start of Relativity's Oculus last April.

The Lazarus Effect opened with $3.8 million on Friday (which included an estimated $350,000 from Thursday night shows), increased a healthy 15.5 percent on Saturday to take in $4.39 million and is estimated to decline 45 percent on Sunday to gross an estimated $2.41 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.79 to 1, which is very promising 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 an estimated $7.79 million. The sports drama starring Kevin Costner continues to perform on the high end of expectations with $21.98 million in ten days. That places the film 13.5 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 an estimated seventh place take of $7.7 million. The blockbuster Clint Eastwood directed Best Picture nominee starring Bradley Cooper was down a slim 23 percent from last weekend. American Sniper has grossed a massive $331.11 million to date and is now on the verge of surpassing the $336.71 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 estimated eighth place gross of $7.15 million. The low-budget PG-13 comedy from CBS Films and Lionsgate was down 34 percent from last weekend's stronger than expected start. The DUFF continues to exceed expectations with $20.05 million in ten days. That places the film 21 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).

Daily Domestic Gross Wed, Nov. 9 2011

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Nov. 9 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Tower Heist$1,380,470-30%3,367--$410$28,890,5051Universal
2Puss in Boots (2011)$1,330,404-45%3,96311$336$80,931,5932Paramount / DreamWorks
3A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas$921,491-29%2,875--$321$16,201,1091Warner Bros. / New Line
4In Time$528,479-26%3,1275$169$25,792,4672Fox
5Paranormal Activity 3$418,198-22%3,286-43$127$96,578,1983Paramount
6The Rum Diary$282,339-19%2,29220$123$11,257,9852FilmDistrict
7Footloose (2011)$250,008-28%2,811-413$89$45,582,3704Paramount
8Real Steel$188,975-30%2,438-476$78$79,444,2665Disney / DreamWorks
9The Ides of March$158,321-16%1,391-181$114$37,223,8795Sony / Columbia
10The Three Musketeers (2011)$134,696-23%1,863-1154$72$18,490,8463Summit
11Moneyball$129,970-13%1,278-353$102$70,618,5917Sony / Columbia
12Courageous$129,043-15%1,1384$113$30,366,6616Sony / TriStar
13Dolphin Tale$58,491-39%1,105-733$53$68,835,4217Warner Bros.

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Nov. 9 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Anonymous$109,409-18%514249$213$3,033,6852Sony / Columbia
3Margin Call$58,954-20%17838$331$2,702,0443Roadside Attractions
4Johnny English Reborn$38,640-40%644-910$60$7,866,8303Universal
5The Way$36,008-10%224-34$161$2,256,2635Producers Distribution Agency
6Sarah's Key$32,083-18%318289$101$7,439,74416Weinstein Company
7The Thing (2011)$23,010-8%384-1010$60$16,815,6454Universal
8Drive (2011)$20,292-21%136-58$149$34,131,0178FilmDistrict
9Contagion$18,812-15%260-151$72$74,526,5479Warner Bros.
10Rise of the Planet of the Apes$14,357-8%199-32$72$176,183,83614Fox
11Crazy, Stupid, Love$12,415-6%172-78$72$84,146,29415Warner Bros.
12Dream House$11,550-22%330-255$35$21,188,0306Universal
13The Mighty Macs$9,455-10%101-288$94$1,759,9293Quaker Media
15The Big Year$7,977-17%213-210$37$7,038,8574Fox
16What's Your Number?$6,605-18%10240$65$13,957,8016Fox
17Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$6,418-4%22562$29$380,892,14617Warner Bros.
18Killer Elite$5,2350%119-138$44$25,022,0297Open Road
19Captain America: The First Avenger$3,777-17%102-37$37$176,648,66316Paramount

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Nov. 9 2011LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1J. Edgar$52,645--7--$7,521$52,6450Warner Bros.
2Martha Marcy May Marlene$42,277-18%9866$431$1,154,6193Fox Searchlight
3Like Crazy$25,261-6%1612$1,579$520,2922Paramount Vantage
4Born to Be Wild 3D$14,561-14%490$297$14,005,45531Warner Bros. / IMAX
5The Double (2011)$7,5520%4534$168$120,1842Image Entertainment
6Inni$3,63563%54$727$53,4062Cinema Purgatorio
7Spy Kids: All The Time in the World$2,718-32%98-53$28$38,364,64512Weinstein Company
8Apollo 18$2,690-16%93-27$29$17,672,53610Weinstein Company
9Our Idiot Brother$2,455-16%35-16$70$24,799,42811Weinstein Company
10Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011)$1,969-10%52-23$38$24,026,39211FilmDistrict
11The Son of No One$1,826-12%10--$183$23,8091Anchor Bay Films
12Laugh at My Pain$1,626-26%38-13$43$7,679,7169CodeBlack Entertainment
13Shark Night 3D$1,286-32%44-46$29$18,842,68310Relativity Media
14Machine Gun Preacher$872-31%12-1$73$523,4617Relativity Media
15Munger Road$63936%9-1$71$260,4246Freestyle Releasing
16I Don't Know How She Does It$60240%8-6$75$9,610,0788Weinstein Company
17Texas Killing Fields$510-21%103$51$43,9894Anchor Bay Films
18Dirty Girl$359-36%65$60$54,8575Weinstein Company
19Circumstance$298-50%5-2$60$437,69311Roadside Attractions
20The Future$234-19%50$47$567,68315Roadside Attractions
21Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame$17885%5-1$36$486,37010Indomina Media
22Project Nim$9660%30$32$406,66018Roadside Attractions