Kingsman 2 Opens Near Original; LEGO Franchise Waning
By John Hamann
September 24, 2017
Kingsman may be static against its original, and the LEGO house seems to be falling apart. Remember this is September, though, so if three movies earn $20 million or more in a single weekend, the box office is on fire.
When the original Kingsman opened in February 2015, it opened in second behind Fifty Shades of Grey, and over its first four weekends, it faced off against weaklings like McFarland, USA, The Duff, Focus, and Chappie. Yeah, the original Kingsman had great legs, but so did Let’s Be Cops, the August 2014 comedy. Let’s Be Cops opened to $17.8 million, and went on to do $82.4 million – giving it an opening to total multiplier of 4.6 – a multiplier most films would kill for, and Cops was a terrible 19% fresh, and carried a B Cinemascore – nothing to write home to mama about. The original Kingsman had a better B+ Cinemascore, was 74% fresh, but had an opening-to-total multiplier of less than 3.5, opening to $36.2 million, and finishing domestically with $128.3 million.
My point is that Let’s Be Cops faced the same forgettable competition as the original Kingsman, facing off against classics like If I Stay, As Above, So Below, The November Man, and The Identical. Kingsman went on to earn $414 million worldwide, which is why we are talking about its sequel today and not Let’s Be Cops 2, which finished with $155 million worldwide.
The weekend was looking pretty damned rosy after Thursday night, as new release Kingsman: The Golden Circle got started with $3.4 million from previews, more than double what the original did in previews. Given that fantastic start, everyone was pretty high on the weekend, with many looking for an opening in the high $40 millions. That bubble got popped somewhat Friday, as combined with previews, the opening day was reported at $15.3 million, still ahead of the original’s $10.4 million. It's important to note that the original opened on a long weekend, which increases the Sunday gross due to the holiday Monday. Additionally, the higher preview amounts skew everything.
Another factor in the mild expansion is that the sequel did not have the "holy shit did you see that" kind of moments that create that instant word-of-mouth studios crave. The original had already surprised with an out of the box concept and stunts, great effects, and inexplicable fun, so the sequel would have to go pretty far to repeat that kind of success. Unfortunately, reviews were worse (51% fresh), and the Cinemascore the same (B+). With the studio picking an odd release date, the deck was stacked against Kingsman: The Golden Circle over the rest of the weekend.
The weekend gross for the Kingsman sequel came in at $39 million, not far off from (but ahead of) the original’s $36.2 million. Unfortunately, the R-rated action comedy cost Fox about $25 million more this time. The original cost $25 million before marketing, whereas the sequel had a budget of $104 million, likely the most expensive September release ever. Kingsman: The Golden Circle is estimated as the fifth biggest September opening, behind only It, two Hotel Transylvania movies, and Insidious Chapter 2, which opened to $40.3 million. K2 has also gotten a strong start overseas, picking up $61.2 million to date, putting itself in position for at least take a run at the first film's $414 million worldwide gross.