Weekend Forecast: ‘The LEGO Batman Movie,’ ‘Fifty Shades Darker,’ & ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’ Set for Busy February Weekend

Now that the Super Bowl is out of the way, the coming weekend is shaping up to be the busiest so far of 2017 with three new wide releases offering something for everyone. Following our analysis, you can view the final forecast in the table below.

The LEGO Batman Movie is widely expected to launch in first place as it comes in benefiting from the considerable goodwill of 2014’s The LEGO Movie, an out-of-the-gate smash hit that opened to $69 million on the same February weekend and legged all the way out to nearly $258 million domestically. Now, LEGO Batman is again the recipient of excellent reviews — currently standing at a stellar 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — with the added advantage of the Batman character taking the lead. As such, this entry in the newly minted animation franchise should appeal strongly to superhero fans as well as families of all ages (especially as the first major animated release since December’s Sing).

Tracking for LEGO Batman has consistently been pulling ahead of LEGO Movie at comparable points, indicating this could behave like a sequel in terms of expanding its opening weekend impact. Warner Bros. is currently projecting an opening close to $60 million, but the usual tracking metrics are pointing closer to an opening in the range of $70-80 million.

Meanwhile, Fifty Shades Darker is primed to attract fans of the book series and the first adapted film. Still, there’s a strong chance many target viewers will hold out for Valentine’s Day on Tuesday. Coupled with the fact that this sequel won’t have the same aura of curiosity that drew non-fans and casual viewers to Fifty Shades of Grey two years ago (and the lack of a holiday inflating its actual weekend), we’re expecting a noticeable drop from that film’s $85.2 million three-day opening to somewhere in the range of $45-55 million. Universal is expecting a more conservative launch below $40 million.

Last but not least, John Wick: Chapter 2 is aiming to take advantage of its predecessor’s modern cult classic success, a goal that should be helped by the fact that critics have given the follow-up an incredible 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes as of this publishing. That’s a rare score for any film in this genre, let alone a sequel. This entry should handily surpass the $14.4 million opening of the first film in October 2014, while tracking is on par with or exceeding that of The Accountant and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Industry sources point to an opening in the mid-to-high teen millions (which would still be enough to declare it a success), but we’re more optimistic in the potential to counter-program strongly with the male audience. Our range is pegged between $25-30 million.

Our final forecasts for these openers and key holdovers are below.

Title Distributor Weekend Forecast Domestic Total through Sunday, February 12 % Change
The LEGO Batman Movie Warner Bros. $80,000,000 $80,000,000 NEW
Fifty Shades Darker Universal $46,000,000 $46,000,000 NEW
John Wick: Chapter 2 Lionsgate/Summit $26,500,000 $26,500,000 NEW
Split Universal $8,650,000 $112,070,000 -40.03%
Hidden Figures Fox $6,620,000 $129,810,000 -35.03%
Rings Paramount $5,850,000 $21,870,000 -55.01%
A Dog’s Purpose Universal $5,780,000 $40,980,000 -45.00%
La La Land Lionsgate/Summit $4,420,000 $125,300,000 -40.04%

Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.

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