Studio Weekend Estimates: ‘LEGO Batman Movie’ Pieces Together $55.6M, ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Lights Up w/ $46.8M, ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Sparks w/ $30.0M

It may not have led on its opening day Friday, but Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Batman Movie debuted atop the weekend box office with an estimated $55.6 million. The top three spots on the chart all went to new sequels, on what ranks as the biggest box office weekend of 2017 so far.

Batman started 19.4 percent behind the $69.0 million debut of February 2014’s The LEGO Movie, but definitely still qualifies a hit. The animated film starring the voice of Will Arnett as the title character appears highly unlikely to match the original installment’s $257.7 million total, unless Batman experiences a much better hold going forward than is currently expected. Is that possible? It’s highly unlikely, though reviews are positive, with an A- average CinemaScore from an audience that was 52 percent female and 48 percent under age 25.

Batman began with an estimated $14.6 million on Friday, including $2.2 million from Thursday night shows. That placed it second place on its opening day by several million dollars behind — uncommon for a film that ends up leading the weekend in the end. The film improved a fantastic estimated 59.4 percent on Saturday to $23.4 million, and is projected to decline 25.0 percent on Sunday to $17.5 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 3.79 to 1. That’s a bit more front-loaded than the 4.03 to 1 ratio for the original LEGO Movie, indicating that Batman relied a bit more on pre-release hype.

Universal’s sexually-charged romance Fifty Shades Darker took second place with an estimated $46.8 million. The film starts 45.0 percent behind the $85.1 million opening of the original Fifty Shades of Grey on this same weekend two years ago. The sequel based on the record-breaking book series returned Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in the leads, with a new supporting role starring Kim Basinger.

However, Grey may not be an entirely fair comparison, as it had the highest opening of all time for a romantic drama, when adjusted for inflation. Darker still takes sixth place on that metric, behind such impressive competition as Titanic and The Great Gatsby. Also, Grey was a massive cultural phenomenon which many felt like they had to see in order to participate in the cultural conversation, regardless of whether they’d actually enjoy it; by contrast, the existing fan base made up a higher percentage of Darker‘s opening. The audience for Darker was 70 percent female and 56 percent under age 30, neither of which was surprising for the female-targeted film and considering the demographic fanbase of the E.L. James book series. The film received an average B+ CinemaScore.

Darker began with an estimated $21.4 million on Friday, including $5.7 million from Thursday night shows, winning its opening day by a considerable percentage. It couldn’t sustain that momentum throughout the weekend, likely because the both heavily-female and heavily-young audience are two demographics which turn out in larger numbers for opening night showings. (The similarly-targeted five Twilight films all posted among the highest Friday percentages of their opening weekends of any films in history.)

Darker declined an estimated 26.2 percent on Saturday to $15.8 million, and is projected to fall 40.0 percent on Sunday to $9.4 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.17 to 1, which is notably more front-loaded than the 2.81 to 1 for Grey‘s opening weekend. This indicates that the film might fall faster than Grey did going forward (with the exception of Valentine’s Day Tuesday).

Third place went to Lionsgate’s action sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 with an estimated $30.0 million. The original starring Keanu Reeves as the title character hitman may not have been considered a box office success by traditional measurement with $43.0 million total, but it subsequently became something of a modern cult classic, with a reputation far exceeding its gross in pure numbers. (It certainly appears to be one of the Reddit community’s favorite films.) The follow-up starts with more than double the original’s $14.4 million, and will likely exceed the former’s cumulative by next weekend.

Chapter 2 started with an estimated $11.0 million on Friday, including $2.2 million from Thursday night shows, improved an estimated 3.7 percent on Saturday to $11.4 million, and is projected to decline 33.2 percent on Sunday to $7.6 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.72 to 1, about in line with the original’s ratio of 2.64 to 1.

Elsewhere in the box office, Universal’s horror Split, which led for the past three weekends, fell from first to fourth place with a 35.4 percent decline to an estimated $9.3 million. Fox’s Hidden Figures became the highest grossing of this year’s Oscar Best Picture nominees, with a 21.5 percent decline to an estimated $8.0 million and fifth place. The film it beat, Lionsgate’s La La Land, took eighth place with a 32.2 percent decline to an estimated $5.0 million. And Weinstein Company’s Lion slowly but surely worked its way into the top 10 for the second weekend with its best frame yet by both gross and rank: an 8.6 percent improvement to $4.1 million and ninth place.

The top 10 films this weekend earned an estimated $173,813,000. That’s more than double the $75.6 million earned by the top 10 last weekend, and also more than double the $75.3 million earned by the top 10 on this weekend last year, when Kung Fu Panda led for the second consecutive frame with $21.2 million.

Limited Releases:

Magnolia’s James Baldwin documentary I Am Not Your Negro had improved to $830 thousand in only 115 theaters this weekend, a $7,217 per-screen average. FIP’s Jolly LLB 2 began with $780 thousand in only 173 theaters, a $4,509 average. And Oscilloscope’s KEDI had the top per-screen average opening of the year so far (although it’s only mid-February) with an estimated $40 thousand on only one screen in New York City, selling out an impressive 21 of its showtimes.

Overseas Update:

It may have started in second place domestically, but Fifty Shades Darker began with a massive debut overseas, a huge $100.1 million estimated overseas weekend. That’s the largest international weekend of 2017 so far, as the film took first place in 51 of the 57 markets where it played. Notable weekend results include $11.0 million in Germany, $9.7 million in the United Kingdom, and $8.7 million in France.

Also earning a terrific overseas weekend was Paramount’s action sequel xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, which more than quintupled its previous overseas weekend with an estimated $69.3 million. That was almost entirely due to its new opening in China, where it debuted with $61.9 million. Lead star Vin Diesel is huge in China, as his Furious 7 from 2015 holds the record for highest grossing film of all time in that country. However, the film is fading fast domestically, falling from eighth last weekend to an estimated 13th place this weekend.

Studio Weekend Estimates for Friday, February 10 – Sunday, February 12, 2017:

WIDE (1000+)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 The LEGO Batman Movie $55,635,000 4,088 $13,609 $55,635,000 1 Warner Bros.
2 Fifty Shades Darker $46,800,000 3,710 $12,615 $46,800,000 1 Universal
3 John Wick: Chapter 2 $30,025,000 3,113 $9,645 $30,025,000 1 Lionsgate / Summit
4 Split $9,320,000 -35% 2,961 -412 $3,148 $112,292,270 4 Universal
5 Hidden Figures $8,000,000 -21% 2,667 -734 $3,000 $131,452,250 8 Fox
6 A Dog’s Purpose $7,370,000 -30% 3,025 -153 $2,436 $42,599,675 3 Universal
7 Rings (2017) $5,820,000 -55% 2,931 0 $1,986 $21,492,286 2 Paramount
8 La La Land $5,000,000 -32% 2,065 -1171 $2,421 $126,010,345 10 Lionsgate / Summit
9 Lion $4,083,000 9% 1,337 -68 $3,054 $30,368,722 12 Weinstein Company
10 The Space Between Us $1,760,000 -53% 2,758 -54 $638 $6,585,158 2 STX Entertainment
11 Sing (2016) $1,630,000 -60% 1,479 -814 $1,102 $265,334,995 8 Universal
12 xXx: The Return of Xander Cage $1,465,000 -62% 1,178 -1300 $1,244 $43,077,048 4 Paramount
13 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter $1,350,000 -71% 1,213 -1891 $1,113 $25,215,430 3 Sony / Screen Gems

LIMITED (100 — 999)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story $1,516,000 -48% 929 -684 $1,632 $527,182,968 9 Disney
2 I am Not Your Negro $830,000 21% 115 72 $7,217 $1,849,040 2 Magnolia Pictures
3 Jolly LLB 2 $780,000 173 $4,509 $780,000 1 FIP
4 The Founder $750,000 -48% 454 -482 $1,652 $11,231,245 4 Weinstein Company
5 Moana $726,000 -46% 461 -386 $1,575 $243,180,866 12 Disney
6 Fences $720,000 -42% 454 -494 $1,586 $53,940,727 9 Paramount
7 Manchester By the Sea $681,950 -49% 454 -520 $1,502 $45,081,938 13 Roadside / Amazon
8 The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2017 $660,000 184 $3,587 $660,000 1 Magnolia
9 Monster Trucks $620,000 -71% 842 -1059 $736 $32,195,927 5 Paramount
10 Moonlight (2016) $592,839 -41% 351 -491 $1,689 $20,426,598 17 A24
11 Sleepless $472,630 -47% 385 -287 $1,228 $20,101,380 5 Open Road
12 Arrival $455,000 -43% 271 -414 $1,679 $99,412,735 14 Paramount
13 Patriots Day $390,000 -65% 346 -657 $1,127 $31,010,365 8 CBS Films / Lionsgate
14 Passengers $250,000 -71% 215 -889 $1,163 $98,000,565 8 Sony / Columbia
15 20th Century Women $233,426 -42% 127 -126 $1,838 $5,116,892 7 A24
16 The Comedian $227,078 -74% 612 -236 $371 $1,494,625 2 Sony Pictures Classics
17 Jackie $210,000 -44% 149 -178 $1,409 $210,000 11 Fox Searchlight
18 Doctor Strange $187,000 -21% 171 -19 $1,094 $232,185,806 15 Disney
19 Un Padre No Tan Padre $160,000 -64% 117 -195 $1,368 $1,947,223 3 Lionsgate / Pantelion Films.
20 Gold (2016) $146,000 -89% 215 -1951 $679 $7,019,073 3 The Weinstein Company / Dimension
21 Why Him? $110,000 -38% 147 -97 $748 $59,239,288 8 Fox
22 Hacksaw Ridge $107,000 -56% 127 -190 $843 $66,577,164 15 Lionsgate

PLATFORM (1 — 99)

# TITLE WEEKEND LOCATIONS AVG. TOTAL WKS. DIST.
1 The Salesman $261,889 10% 65 17 $4,029 $724,876 3 Cohen Media Group
2 Paterson $178,106 3% 68 10 $2,619 $1,288,186 7 Bleecker Street
3 Duckweed $160,000 27 $5,926 $160,000 1 China Lion Film
4 Toni Erdmann $130,936 37% 49 25 $2,672 $687,552 8 Sony Pictures Classics
5 Julieta $104,835 -16% 63 5 $1,664 $1,179,921 8 Sony Pictures Classics
6 A United Kingdom $70,000 4 $17,500 $70,000 1 Fox Searchlight
7 The Red Turtle $67,986 -2% 29 8 $2,344 $331,580 4 Sony Pictures Classics
8 Elle (2016) $67,673 -17% 57 -47 $1,187 $2,038,372 14 Sony Pictures Classics
9 Silence $67,000 -63% 55 -97 $1,218 $6,978,401 8 Paramount
10 KEDi $40,510 1 $40,510 $40,510 1 Oscilloscope Laboratories
11 Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance $26,714 5% 6 4 $4,452 $73,814 2 Abramorama
12 The Eagle Huntress $25,383 -42% 34 -14 $747 $2,980,639 15 Sony Pictures Classics
13 Land of Mine $15,758 3 $5,253 $15,758 1 Sony Pictures Classics
14 Saving Banksy $15,366 109% 5 -1 $3,073 $52,867 5 Parade Deck Films
15 Chapter & Verse $15,366 -53% 5 4 $3,073 $52,272 2 Paladin
16 Worlds Apart $4,500 -22% 1 0 $4,500 $60,440 5 Cinema Libre Studio
Jesse Rifkin

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Andrew P. February 12, 2017

    Fifty Shades Darker was more front loaded than Fifty Shade of Grey because it didn’t have Valentine’s Day on the weekend to boost its numbers. Grey was only able to increase about 20% on its Saturday because it was Valentine’s Day. And it was extremely front-loaded because of that boost in its opening weekend. So if anything, Darker should have better staying power given Valentine’s isn’t until Tuesday and President’s weekend is next weekend, all of which Grey had in its opening weekend to heavily boost its initial 3-4 days. If the bad reviews don’t hurt it too much, it should probably be able to make it to around $100-$115 million.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Andrew Pavon February 12, 2017

    Fifty Shades Darker was more front loaded than Fifty Shade of Grey because it didn’t have Valentine’s Day on the weekend to boost its numbers. Grey was only able to increase about 20% on its Saturday because it was Valentine’s Day. And it was extremely front-loaded because of that boost in its opening weekend. So if anything, Darker should have better staying power given Valentine’s isn’t until Tuesday and President’s weekend is next weekend, all of which Grey had in its opening weekend to heavily boost its initial 3-4 days. If the bad reviews don’t hurt it too much, it should probably be able to make it to around $100-$115 million.

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    Michael February 12, 2017

    Wonder where that guy is who said Lego Batman will get to $65-70 million opening weekend???? Told jaaaaah

    Reply
  4. Avatar
    Keith W February 20, 2017

    Jesse – appreciate your clever wording – funny

    Reply

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