It may not have led on its opening day Friday, but Warner Bros.’ The LEGO Batman Movie debuted atop the weekend box office with an estimated $55.6 million. The top three spots on the chart all went to new sequels, on what ranks as the biggest box office weekend of 2017 so far.
Batman started 19.4 percent behind the $69.0 million debut of February 2014’s The LEGO Movie, but definitely still qualifies a hit. The animated film starring the voice of Will Arnett as the title character appears highly unlikely to match the original installment’s $257.7 million total, unless Batman experiences a much better hold going forward than is currently expected. Is that possible? It’s highly unlikely, though reviews are positive, with an A- average CinemaScore from an audience that was 52 percent female and 48 percent under age 25.
Batman began with an estimated $14.6 million on Friday, including $2.2 million from Thursday night shows. That placed it second place on its opening day by several million dollars behind — uncommon for a film that ends up leading the weekend in the end. The film improved a fantastic estimated 59.4 percent on Saturday to $23.4 million, and is projected to decline 25.0 percent on Sunday to $17.5 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 3.79 to 1. That’s a bit more front-loaded than the 4.03 to 1 ratio for the original LEGO Movie, indicating that Batman relied a bit more on pre-release hype.
Universal’s sexually-charged romance Fifty Shades Darker took second place with an estimated $46.8 million. The film starts 45.0 percent behind the $85.1 million opening of the original Fifty Shades of Grey on this same weekend two years ago. The sequel based on the record-breaking book series returned Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in the leads, with a new supporting role starring Kim Basinger.
However, Grey may not be an entirely fair comparison, as it had the highest opening of all time for a romantic drama, when adjusted for inflation. Darker still takes sixth place on that metric, behind such impressive competition as Titanic and The Great Gatsby. Also, Grey was a massive cultural phenomenon which many felt like they had to see in order to participate in the cultural conversation, regardless of whether they’d actually enjoy it; by contrast, the existing fan base made up a higher percentage of Darker‘s opening. The audience for Darker was 70 percent female and 56 percent under age 30, neither of which was surprising for the female-targeted film and considering the demographic fanbase of the E.L. James book series. The film received an average B+ CinemaScore.
Darker began with an estimated $21.4 million on Friday, including $5.7 million from Thursday night shows, winning its opening day by a considerable percentage. It couldn’t sustain that momentum throughout the weekend, likely because the both heavily-female and heavily-young audience are two demographics which turn out in larger numbers for opening night showings. (The similarly-targeted five Twilight films all posted among the highest Friday percentages of their opening weekends of any films in history.)
Darker declined an estimated 26.2 percent on Saturday to $15.8 million, and is projected to fall 40.0 percent on Sunday to $9.4 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.17 to 1, which is notably more front-loaded than the 2.81 to 1 for Grey‘s opening weekend. This indicates that the film might fall faster than Grey did going forward (with the exception of Valentine’s Day Tuesday).
Third place went to Lionsgate’s action sequel John Wick: Chapter 2 with an estimated $30.0 million. The original starring Keanu Reeves as the title character hitman may not have been considered a box office success by traditional measurement with $43.0 million total, but it subsequently became something of a modern cult classic, with a reputation far exceeding its gross in pure numbers. (It certainly appears to be one of the Reddit community’s favorite films.) The follow-up starts with more than double the original’s $14.4 million, and will likely exceed the former’s cumulative by next weekend.
Chapter 2 started with an estimated $11.0 million on Friday, including $2.2 million from Thursday night shows, improved an estimated 3.7 percent on Saturday to $11.4 million, and is projected to decline 33.2 percent on Sunday to $7.6 million. This places its opening weekend to Friday ratio at an estimated 2.72 to 1, about in line with the original’s ratio of 2.64 to 1.
Elsewhere in the box office, Universal’s horror Split, which led for the past three weekends, fell from first to fourth place with a 35.4 percent decline to an estimated $9.3 million. Fox’s Hidden Figures became the highest grossing of this year’s Oscar Best Picture nominees, with a 21.5 percent decline to an estimated $8.0 million and fifth place. The film it beat, Lionsgate’s La La Land, took eighth place with a 32.2 percent decline to an estimated $5.0 million. And Weinstein Company’s Lion slowly but surely worked its way into the top 10 for the second weekend with its best frame yet by both gross and rank: an 8.6 percent improvement to $4.1 million and ninth place.
The top 10 films this weekend earned an estimated $173,813,000. That’s more than double the $75.6 million earned by the top 10 last weekend, and also more than double the $75.3 million earned by the top 10 on this weekend last year, when Kung Fu Panda led for the second consecutive frame with $21.2 million.
Magnolia’s James Baldwin documentary I Am Not Your Negro had improved to $830 thousand in only 115 theaters this weekend, a $7,217 per-screen average. FIP’s Jolly LLB 2 began with $780 thousand in only 173 theaters, a $4,509 average. And Oscilloscope’s KEDI had the top per-screen average opening of the year so far (although it’s only mid-February) with an estimated $40 thousand on only one screen in New York City, selling out an impressive 21 of its showtimes.
It may have started in second place domestically, but Fifty Shades Darker began with a massive debut overseas, a huge $100.1 million estimated overseas weekend. That’s the largest international weekend of 2017 so far, as the film took first place in 51 of the 57 markets where it played. Notable weekend results include $11.0 million in Germany, $9.7 million in the United Kingdom, and $8.7 million in France.
Also earning a terrific overseas weekend was Paramount’s action sequel xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, which more than quintupled its previous overseas weekend with an estimated $69.3 million. That was almost entirely due to its new opening in China, where it debuted with $61.9 million. Lead star Vin Diesel is huge in China, as his Furious 7 from 2015 holds the record for highest grossing film of all time in that country. However, the film is fading fast domestically, falling from eighth last weekend to an estimated 13th place this weekend.
Studio Weekend Estimates for Friday, February 10 – Sunday, February 12, 2017:
|1||The LEGO Batman Movie||$55,635,000||—||4,088||—||$13,609||$55,635,000||1||Warner Bros.|
|2||Fifty Shades Darker||$46,800,000||—||3,710||—||$12,615||$46,800,000||1||Universal|
|3||John Wick: Chapter 2||$30,025,000||—||3,113||—||$9,645||$30,025,000||1||Lionsgate / Summit|
|6||A Dog’s Purpose||$7,370,000||-30%||3,025||-153||$2,436||$42,599,675||3||Universal|
|8||La La Land||$5,000,000||-32%||2,065||-1171||$2,421||$126,010,345||10||Lionsgate / Summit|
|10||The Space Between Us||$1,760,000||-53%||2,758||-54||$638||$6,585,158||2||STX Entertainment|
|12||xXx: The Return of Xander Cage||$1,465,000||-62%||1,178||-1300||$1,244||$43,077,048||4||Paramount|
|13||Resident Evil: The Final Chapter||$1,350,000||-71%||1,213||-1891||$1,113||$25,215,430||3||Sony / Screen Gems|
|1||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||$1,516,000||-48%||929||-684||$1,632||$527,182,968||9||Disney|
|2||I am Not Your Negro||$830,000||21%||115||72||$7,217||$1,849,040||2||Magnolia Pictures|
|3||Jolly LLB 2||$780,000||—||173||—||$4,509||$780,000||1||FIP|
|4||The Founder||$750,000||-48%||454||-482||$1,652||$11,231,245||4||Weinstein Company|
|7||Manchester By the Sea||$681,950||-49%||454||-520||$1,502||$45,081,938||13||Roadside / Amazon|
|8||The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2017||$660,000||—||184||—||$3,587||$660,000||1||Magnolia|
|13||Patriots Day||$390,000||-65%||346||-657||$1,127||$31,010,365||8||CBS Films / Lionsgate|
|14||Passengers||$250,000||-71%||215||-889||$1,163||$98,000,565||8||Sony / Columbia|
|15||20th Century Women||$233,426||-42%||127||-126||$1,838||$5,116,892||7||A24|
|16||The Comedian||$227,078||-74%||612||-236||$371||$1,494,625||2||Sony Pictures Classics|
|19||Un Padre No Tan Padre||$160,000||-64%||117||-195||$1,368||$1,947,223||3||Lionsgate / Pantelion Films.|
|20||Gold (2016)||$146,000||-89%||215||-1951||$679||$7,019,073||3||The Weinstein Company / Dimension|
|1||The Salesman||$261,889||10%||65||17||$4,029||$724,876||3||Cohen Media Group|
|3||Duckweed||$160,000||—||27||—||$5,926||$160,000||1||China Lion Film|
|4||Toni Erdmann||$130,936||37%||49||25||$2,672||$687,552||8||Sony Pictures Classics|
|5||Julieta||$104,835||-16%||63||5||$1,664||$1,179,921||8||Sony Pictures Classics|
|6||A United Kingdom||$70,000||—||4||—||$17,500||$70,000||1||Fox Searchlight|
|7||The Red Turtle||$67,986||-2%||29||8||$2,344||$331,580||4||Sony Pictures Classics|
|8||Elle (2016)||$67,673||-17%||57||-47||$1,187||$2,038,372||14||Sony Pictures Classics|
|11||Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance||$26,714||5%||6||4||$4,452||$73,814||2||Abramorama|
|12||The Eagle Huntress||$25,383||-42%||34||-14||$747||$2,980,639||15||Sony Pictures Classics|
|13||Land of Mine||$15,758||—||3||—||$5,253||$15,758||1||Sony Pictures Classics|
|14||Saving Banksy||$15,366||109%||5||-1||$3,073||$52,867||5||Parade Deck Films|
|15||Chapter & Verse||$15,366||-53%||5||4||$3,073||$52,272||2||Paladin|
|16||Worlds Apart||$4,500||-22%||1||0||$4,500||$60,440||5||Cinema Libre Studio|