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Weekend Wrap-Up

Fifty Shades Fades to Grey

By John Hamann

February 22, 2015

She's as limp as the film's second weekend box office.

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Third is The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. After crossing the $100 million mark on Monday, SpongeBob earned another $15.5 million this weekend, off 51% from last weekend’s frame, when Sunday acted more like a Saturday. The total for the $74 million film has now reached $125.2 million stateside and is approaching the $50 million mark overseas.

Fourth goes to McFarland USA, the new sports themed movie from Disney. Like Remember the Titans and The Rookie, Disney was looking for a decent start for their long distance running movie, but got more of a Million Dollar Arm kind of result. The Kevin Costner flick got started with a weekend take of $11.3 million, a little ahead of the $10.5 million debut for Million Dollar Arm and the $9.8 million opening for Costner’s Draft Day. The good news for McFarland USA is that it did earn an A Cinemascore, and reviews were quite good at 77% fresh at RottenTomatoes, so legs should be in store. With a production cost likely in the $25 million area, McFarland USA is going to need a killer multiplier to find any kind of success, but because Disney has made a good film, this should be a winner long after the theatrical window has closed.

Finishing fifth is The DUFF. The teen movie about the "designated ugly fat friend" resonated with teenagers this weekend, as it did a little bit better than it was supposed to. The DUFF got started with a not-bad $4.3 million on Friday and was able to turn that into a weekend take of $11 million from only 2,575 venues. Made for only $8.5 million, this Lionsgate release is going to be profitable, as this is a good weekend to open low cost, non-adult features, given the two big R-rated releases last weekend. The Cinemascore was fantastic at A-, and even the reviews were decent, with a 62% fresh score at RottenTomatoes. If The Duff can find an opening-to-total multiplier similar to the 4.0 of She’s All That, it will finish as a $50 million winner for Lionsgate.




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Sixth goes to top ten stalwart American Sniper, as it spends its fifth weekend of wide release in the top ten. The Oscar nominated war flick earned another $9.7 million this weekend, off a not bad 41% compared to the long weekend. With $319.6 million in the domestic kitty so far, Sniper has joined the top 40 biggest domestic earners of all time. Should it win a couple of Oscars tonight, who knows where it could finish up. If not, Sniper should finish with about $340 million domestic and another $100 million coming from overseas.

Seventh is Hot Tub Time Machine 2, which couldn’t get John Cusack back, and pays for it. The original comedy cost $36 million to make, and opened to $14 million. It went on to earn $50.3 million domestic and another $14.3 million overseas. That was somehow enough to greenlight a sequel at a much lower cost of $14 million, but the new film only opened to $5.8 million, making this a very questionable decision, especially given the scads of advertising. Obviously, someone thought there were more fans of the original than there actually are. The sequel earned a screechingly bad Cinemascore of C- and deplorably bad reviews, coming in at 14% fresh at RottenTomatoes. This was a bad decision from those at Paramount, and we are all just better off moving on.


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