'Focus' Leads Lackluster 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 Tue, Apr. 2 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Apr. 2 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1G.I. Joe: Retaliation$4,012,941-12%3,719--$1,079$59,568,6491Paramount
2The Croods$3,866,600-23%4,06519$951$97,759,9942Fox / DreamWorks Animation
3Tyler Perry's Temptation$1,831,088-17%2,047--$895$25,686,5621Lionsgate
4Olympus Has Fallen$1,652,899-2%3,1068$532$58,224,1972FilmDistrict
5Oz: The Great and Powerful$1,563,182-16%3,324-481$470$201,792,5714Disney
6The Host (2013)$1,032,869-14%3,202--$323$12,833,9921Open Road
7The Call$653,9300%2,439-68$268$40,913,7893Sony / TriStar
9Spring Breakers$403,0062%1,379275$292$10,872,2573A24
10The Incredible Burt Wonderstone$178,420-12%1,575-1585$113$21,011,1153Warner Bros. / New Line
11Jack the Giant Slayer$135,463-22%1,080-1480$125$61,709,0955Warner Bros. / New Line
12Identity Thief$129,840-8%1,082-1084$120$130,186,6058Universal

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Apr. 2 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Silver Linings Playbook$100,184-4%752-292$133$128,917,10020Weinstein Company
2Quartet$62,99825%302-123$209$16,713,17712Weinstein Company
3Escape From Planet Earth$61,248-20%977-517$63$54,065,1427Weinstein Company
4Life of Pi$61,118-10%340-149$180$123,450,51819Fox
5Safe Haven$59,188-9%550-729$108$69,935,5867Relativity Media
6Snitch (2013)$52,049-4%746-1061$70$41,460,0026Lionsgate / Summit
721 And Over$44,106-10%344-790$128$25,045,4375Relativity Media
8Stoker$24,71215%194-81$127$1,520,0665Fox Searchlight
9Argo$23,27419%26075$90$135,772,96425Warner Bros.
10Django Unchained$23,203-13%233-63$100$162,364,53614Weinstein Company
11A Good Day to Die Hard$21,9382%209-239$105$66,594,4917Fox
12Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters$21,8885%202-7$108$55,263,12510Paramount
13Emperor$19,7202%138-99$143$2,929,4464Roadside Attractions
14Parental Guidance$16,4243%140-45$117$76,930,80814Fox
15Warm Bodies$16,244-14%162-137$100$65,281,7919Lionsgate / Summit
16Rise of The Guardians$16,1481%134-28$121$103,328,03419Paramount / DreamWorks
17Side Effects (2013)$13,7405%102-123$135$31,261,4018Open Road
18The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$10,252-10%145-90$71$302,871,19816Warner Bros. / New Line
20Les Miserables (2012)$8,720-6%109-20$80$148,793,44514Universal
21Dark Skies$7,221-1%101-104$71$17,145,2906Weinstein / Dimension
22Beautiful Creatures (2013)$6,552-2%115-73$57$19,411,5577Warner Bros.
23The Last Exorcism Part II$5,477-31%102-353$54$15,166,2735CBS Films

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Apr. 2 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Place Beyond the Pines$26,266-15%4--$6,567$336,5881Focus
2To the Arctic 3D$15,192-13%520$292$11,949,81150Warner Bros. / IMAX
3Himmatwala$14,0566%99--$142$225,0641UTV Motion Pictures
4From Up on Poppy Hill$13,766-14%2519$551$313,2073GKIDS
5Born to Be Wild 3D$8,41112%300$280$22,377,479104Warner Bros. / IMAX
6The Sapphires$7,2258%128$602$140,1162Weinstein Company
7Starbuck$7,12080%1714$419$3,538,4042eOne Films US
8The Impossible$7,115-4%86-37$83$18,833,45215Lionsgate / Summit
9Girl Rising$6,350-38%3930$163$535,0794Gathr Films
10Dead Man Down$4,01913%75-537$54$10,772,1914FilmDistrict
12Bless Me, Ultima$1,371-21%11-10$125$1,539,6166Arenas Entertainment
13Gangster Squad$976-25%500$20$45,998,99812Warner Bros.
14The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone$970-3%7-21$139$365,8055Methinx Entertainment
15Kai Po Che$61447%5-13$123$1,117,3276UTV Motion Pictures
16Camp (2013)$4498%6-11$75$105,1746Freestyle Releasing