'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 Wed, Sep. 4 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleWed, Sep. 4 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Lee Daniels' The Butler$1,056,643-22%3,330220$317$81,871,4103Weinstein Company
2We're the Millers$828,484-21%3,4450$240$115,121,7154Warner Bros. / New Line
3Elysium$453,805-24%2,539-374$179$81,579,3554Sony / TriStar
4One Direction: This Is Us$385,552-36%2,735--$141$19,461,8761Sony / TriStar
5The World's End$359,810-22%1,5532$232$19,141,4132Focus
6The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones$331,651-29%3,1180$106$25,325,5592Sony / Screen Gems
7You're Next$289,991-21%2,4370$119$15,067,3022Lionsgate
8Getaway$269,199-28%2,130--$126$6,250,4501Warner Bros.
102 Guns$183,430-19%1,411-358$130$70,505,5205Universal
11Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$166,250-36%2,393-337$69$57,156,4224Fox
12Kick-Ass 2$140,005-32%1,646-1299$85$27,343,8153Universal
13Jobs$103,777-7%1,302-1079$80$15,021,7123Open Road
14Despicable Me 2$96,300-35%1,284-27$75$355,983,2509Universal
15World War Z$75,778-17%1,2471008$61$200,841,32511Paramount
16The Smurfs 2$68,189-43%1,366-486$50$67,173,3845Sony / Columbia
17Monsters University$64,594-35%1,889--$34$264,449,97511Disney

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleWed, Sep. 4 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Instructions Not Included$590,797-14%348--$1,698$11,652,4561Lionsgate / Pantelion
2The Grandmaster$172,223-24%749742$230$3,777,3242Weinstein Company
3Closed Circuit$139,414-25%8708$160$3,954,2831Focus
4The Wolverine$105,664-23%988-461$107$128,565,9826Fox
5The Conjuring$93,218-11%903-452$103$134,381,6167Warner Bros. / New Line
6The Spectacular Now$90,049-4%38540$234$4,002,6295A24
7Star Trek Into Darkness$60,888-15%958814$64$228,628,93716Paramount
8Pacific Rim$46,609-19%401141$116$100,470,4168Warner Bros.
9The Way, Way Back$45,007-13%654352$69$19,903,0609Fox Searchlight
10The Heat$31,430-15%393-16$80$157,499,14010Fox
11Now You See Me$30,301-12%239-7$127$117,161,75214Lionsgate / Summit
12Turbo$27,434-30%438-32$63$80,153,7157Fox / DreamWorks Animation
13Grown Ups 2$26,845-15%471-149$57$130,246,9738Sony / Columbia
14Red 2$21,930-18%261-128$84$52,259,4257Lionsgate / Summit
15Fruitvale Station$19,9391%294-98$68$15,629,9068Weinstein Company
16Man of Steel$17,831-9%284-19$63$290,787,68312Warner Bros.
17Paranoia$13,551-18%392-2067$35$7,123,1163Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleWed, Sep. 4 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1In a World...$26,194-4%9116$288$1,359,5524Roadside Attractions
2Satyagraha$21,067-37%83--$254$555,0671UTV Motion Pictures
3Chennai Express$9,839-37%93-51$106$5,147,5874UTV Motion Pictures
4This Is The End$6,137-34%34--$181$96,939,98912Sony / Columbia
5Passion$5,22268%14--$373$50,8061eOne Films US
6Fast & Furious 6$2,065-13%59-39$35$238,677,79515Universal
8The Croods$1,651-11%45-24$37$187,134,17424Fox / DreamWorks Animation
9The Servant (2013 re-issue)$82542%2--$413$34,8206Rialto Pictures
10Unfinished Song$71820%17-10$42$1,635,84811Weinstein Company
11Savannah$46610%5-9$93$26,4402Ketchup Entertainment
12Much Ado About Nothing (2013)$460-80%13-14$35$4,271,30613Roadside Attractions
13Inch'Allah$18910%20$95$461,3063eOne Films US
14Underdogs (2013)$16829%1-1$168$34,1993Freestyle Releasing
15The Last Flight of the Champion$106-47%15--$7$2,5261High Top Releasing
16Mud$76-51%6-10$13$21,588,28019Roadside Attractions