BDSM = Lite versus LEGO, or Moms vs. Kids
By John Hamann
February 12, 2017
That massive supply of venues turned Fifty Shades Darker’s Thursday preview and opening day amounts into a first day of $21.5 million. While decent, it paled in comparison to the more whippish original, which took in $30.3 million. Universal will be pushing for a build towards Valentine’s Day, with Fifty Shades Darker looking at a big Tuesday before it settles in for a bumpy ride down. The LEGO Batman Movie’s opening day came in at $15 million for its combined Thursday/Friday. The LEGO Movie turned in a slightly stronger $17 million on opening day, so LEGO and DC have nothing to fret over. That leaves John Wick 2 , which earned $11 million over its combined opening days and shoots down the original’s opening day at $5.5 million.
The analysis kicks in after those opening days are realized. We know Fifty Shades 2 is going to be frontloaded, and The LEGO Batman Movie is going to make most of its money toward the latter part of the weekend. But hold on just a second. With Valentine’s Day approaching, we could see that lift toward the holiday. It could be negligible, but I think it's out there – as who wants to go see a play movie like this on Tuesday night? Ew. On the other hand, The LEGO Batman Movie did not have a lot of overage fanboys show up on Thursday night, but I like the Friday number. I believe that due the fanboy factor, we may not see the massive animated opening weekend legs like a Zootopia or a Secret Life of Pets type release. The older fanboy propelled the original LEGO Movie into a massive pile of box office, but I have to wonder if that market is waiting to see if Batman is cool or not.
John Wick 2’s Saturday catapulted past the opening weekend take of the original ($14.4 million), likely by early afternoon, given the great start it had. Over the weekend, John Wick 2 managed a weekend gross of $30 million, very decent considering the original’s amount, and coming in 208% ahead of the original. It found success the same way the original did – it’s a hell of a movie from what I understand. At RottenTomatoes, John Wick 2 is a very solid 90% fresh (versus the original’s 85%), and the Cinemascore came in at A-. The original was just so good, I don’t know how fans of the first film miss out on seeing this in the theatre, and it is definitely on my go to list. The first film earned only a B Cinemascore, but I don’t know a person that doesn’t like the original. I think Lionsgate is going to have a global hit here, and rake in several multiplies against a budget of only $40 million.
So John Wick 2 finished third – would the Valentine’s Day crowd lift Fifty Shades Darker up past LEGO Batman to secure number one? No. The number one movie of the weekend is The LEGO Batman Movie, which finds a decent enough sized success for the folks at Warner Bros. and LEGO. The weekend take was announced at $55.6 million, fantastic for a film that cost $80 million to make, but maybe a bit disappointing when looking at the franchise. Was the first film in the series so successful simply because it hadn’t been seen before? Was it older fanboys and fangirls? The LEGO Batman Movie earned a 91% rating at RottenTomatoes, not quite the 96% the first one earned, but still great nonetheless. A very slight problem comes with the Cinemascore, as Lego Batman earned a A-compared to an A for The LEGO Movie, but if that’s the biggest problem, they have no worries. LEGO Batman doesn’t even have real competition until Fox’s Boss Baby comes to town at the end of March – six weekends away.