Long Range Forecast: ‘The LEGO Batman Movie,’ ‘Fifty Shades Darker,’ & ‘John Wick: Chapter Two’

February 10 will be the first true “blockbuster weekend” of 2017, with not one but two films that could potentially debut to$40 million or more. Universal darkens things up with their romance sequel Fifty Shades Darker. Warner Bros. might be featuring the Dark Knight but in a much less dark tone, with the animated The LEGO Batman Movie. And Lionsgate takes the action route with their sequel John Wick: Chapter Two.

Fifty Shades Darker (Universal)


  • 2015’s sex-heavy Fifty Shades of Grey became one of the highest-grossing romances of all time with an $85.1 million opening and $166.1 million total. At the time, that was the second-highest February opening ever behind only The Passion of the Christ (and now ranking third after February 2016’s Deadpool). Universal is aiming to recreate that magic releasing time with Darker, again coming out the weekend before Valentine’s Day.
  • Buzz online has and trailer views have been high, if just a little bit lower than the pre-release buzz for Grey, led by a committed passionate fan base. Unquestionably the biggest romance book/film series before Fifty Shades was Twilight, and don’t forget that it was the second installment New Moon which truly turned it into a box office powerhouse. 2008’s Twilight earned $192.7 million, not a bad sum at all, but 2009’s New Moon took it up a notch with $296.6 million. Installments 3, 4, and 5 all earned $280-$300 million too. Could something similar happen here?


  • The original film was coming right on the heels of the hugely popular book trilogy by E.L. James, all three of which were some of the highest selling books in years but especially the first installment. Now that two years have passed, the books are still big but perhaps not quite the cultural phenomenon of the moment as they were from 2013-15.
  • There are usually very few romance sequels, even to the highest grossing films. With very few exceptions, the genre simply isn’t known for being lucrative past one film.

The LEGO Batman Movie (Warner Bros.)


  • Similar to the aforementioned Fifty Shades Darker attempting to recapture the huge box office of the previous February-released film in the series, the same thing here. February 2014’s The LEGO Movie started with $69.0 million en route to $257.7 million total. (Although the comparison may be apples to oranges given how different the two films are, that’s a lower opening than Grey but a notably higher cumulative.) The original LEGO Movie featured Batman, albeit in a supporting role near the end.
  • The last wide release animated film before this will have been Sing in late December, which will likely be almost out of theaters by mid-February. And the next animated film will be Rock Dog two weeks later, for which box office projections aren’t strong. So when it comes to the animated/family audience, Batman will have the market almost entirely to itself.


  • Will this perform as well as The LEGO Movie? Maybe not. One could see the “real” Batman the year before in 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and again later in 2017 with November’s Justice League. Will audiences want to see such a cartoonish Batman when such a bigger-budget live action option is available both so sooner before and after?

John Wick: Chapter Two (Lionsgate/Summit)


  • October 2014’s action film John Wick was not considered a big financial success at the time, opening in second place with $14.4 million and ending up with $43.0 million. But it’s achieved something of a cult classic status since then, and Lionsgate thought there was enough of an audience to greenlight a sequel.


  • Sequels to films which did okay but not amazingly at the box office — yet retained a passionate fan base — haven’t always done well at the box office recently. See the $28.8 million of Zoolander 2Plus Keanu Reeves has arguably only had one real box office hit in the past decade, with 2008’s The Day the Earth Stood Still $79.3 million — and even that wasn’t as much of a smash as it could have been.

Check out the official Boxoffice Pro long range forecast in the table below.

Title Wide Release Date Distributor Opening Weekend Cumulative
Fifty Shades Darker Fri, Feb 10 Universal $41,000,000 $83,000,000
John Wick: Chapter Two Fri, Feb 10 Lionsgate/Summit $20,000,000 $45,000,000
The LEGO Batman Movie Fri, Feb 10 Warner Bros. $56,000,000 $210,000,000
Rings Fri, Feb 3 Paramount $19,000,000 $45,000,000
The Space Between Us Fri, Feb 3 STX Entertainment $7,000,000 $20,000,000
Same Kind of Different as Me Fri, Feb 3 Paramount $4,500,000 $12,000,000
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter Fri, Jan 27 Sony / Screen Gems $24,000,000 $52,000,000
A Dog’s Purpose Fri, Jan 27 Universal $16,000,000 $65,000,000
Bastards Fri, Jan 27 Warner Bros. $8,000,000 $22,000,000
Gold Fri, Jan 27 Weinstein Company $7,000,000 $22,000,000
xXx: The Return of Xander Gage Fri, Jan 20 Paramount $32,000,000 $72,000,000
Split Fri, Jan 20 Universal $16,000,000 $45,000,000
The Founder Fri, Jan 20 Weinstein $9,500,000 $39,000,000
The Resurrection of Gavin Stone Fri, Jan 20 High Top Releasing $1,400,000 $3,000,000
Live By Night Fri, Jan 13 Warner Bros. $25,000,000** $69,000,000
Patriots Day Fri, Jan 13 Lionsgate $23,500,000** $78,000,000
Sleepless Fri, Jan 13 Open Road Films $13,000,000** $42,000,000
Monster Trucks Fri, Jan 13 Paramount $12,000,000** $22,000,000
The Bye Bye Man Fri, Jan 13 STX Entertainment $8,000,000** $17,000,000
Underworld: Blood Wars Fri, Jan 6 Sony / Screen Gems $17,000,000 $42,000,000
Hidden Figures Fri, Jan 6 Fox $9,000,000 $35,000,000
Why Him? Fri, Dec 23 Fox $9,000,000 $54,000,000
Passengers Wed, Dec 21 Sony / Columbia $30,000,000* $120,000,000
Sing Wed, Dec 21 Universal $34,000,000* $180,000,000
Assassin’s Creed Wed, Dec 21 Fox $20,000,000* $77,000,000

*= 3-day weekend (Friday-Sunday)

**= 4-day weekend (Friday-Monday)

Shawn Robbins and Jesse Rifkin contributed to this report.

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