Three new movies opened on Friday in wide release but none of them had much of an effect on last week’s Top 3 as Universal Pictures’ adaptation of E L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, remained in first place despite a jaw-dropping 73% drop from its Valentine’s Day opening weekend record. It grossed an estimated $23.2 million in its second weekend.
Despite the drop, Fifty Shades of Grey is currently the highest-grossing movie of the year domestically with $130.1 million, but adding the international box office, where it remained #1 in 51 markets with $68.1 million and $280.5 million total, it has now grossed $410.6 million at the global box office so far.
Remaining in second place was Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service (20th Century Fox), starring Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson and Taron Egerton, which grossed an estimated $17.5 million in its second weekend, down 52%, but with a solid 10-day gross of $67.1 million, well ahead of Vaughn’s last Mark Millar adaptation, Kick-Ass.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (Paramount) remained in third place with a solid $15.5 million, down 52% from the holiday weekend, making it the second-highest grossing movie of the year with $125.2 million. The way things are going, it could very well pull ahead of 50 Shades domestically with that having such a big week-to-week drop-off and with little family competition.
The top new movie of the weekend was the Kevin Costner cross-country racing drama McFarland, USA (Disney), based on the true story of the California town where a group of unlikely Mexican migrant workers became the top running team in the state. It grossed roughly $11.3 million in 2,755 theaters to take fourth place.
Following close behind is another new movie, the high school comedy The DUFF (CBS Films/Lionsgate), starring Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Bella Thorne, Ken Jeong and Allison Janney, which grossed an estimated $11 million in 2,575 theaters, averaging $4,283 per theater, for fifth place.
Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper (Warner Bros.) continued its strong run in the Top 10 with another $9.6 million to take sixth place. It has grossed $320 million domestically since opening on Christmas Day in New York and L.A. and it’s a week or two away from becoming the highest grossing movie of 2014. Since Bradley Cooper also provided the voice of Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy, that puts him in a good place as a box office star, being in two of the three top movies of last year.
Expected by many to do much better this weekend than it actually did, the comedy sequel Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (Paramount), starring Adam Scott, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke and Gillian Jacobs, absolutely bombed this weekend with just $5.8 million in 2,888 theaters (that’s more than the other two movies), averaging just $2,000 per venue. That’s compared to the $14 million that the original comedy made in March 2010, which makes it clear that fans of the original movie had no interest in a sequel (Apparently, having most of the cast appear on an entire episode of E!’s “The Soup” does little to get people to go see your movie in theaters either.)
Speaking of bombs, the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending (Warner Bros.) continued to lose ground as it dropped 60% in its third weekend to take eighth place with $3.7 million and a $39.5 million domestic gross so far.
The top 10 was rounded out by the Weinstein Company’s two biggest hits The Imitation Game and Paddington with $2.6 and $2.2 million, respectively. With $83 million grossed so far, The Imitation Game is the second-highest grossing movie nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars tonight, well behind American Sniper.
Ending up just outside the Top 10 was the drama Still Alice, starring Oscar frontrunner Julianne Moore, which expanded into 765 theaters on Friday and ended up with $2.2 million over the weekend for a total of just under $8 million since opening in mid-January.
Opening in four theaters New York and L.A., the Oscar-nominated Argentinian revenge anthology Wild Tales (Sony Pictures Classics), a festival favorite, grossed $89,000 with a theater average of $22,250.