Saturday Update: Universal’s Fifty Shades Darker led Friday with an estimated $21.5 million opening day, matching our pre-release expectations as it heads toward an opening weekend close to $45 million. With Valentine’s Day around the corner on Tuesday, it will likely see a sharp drop in business over the weekend before picking up again for the annual date night holiday.
Friday’s lead will be short-lived though as The LEGO Batman Movie bowed to $15 million on Friday and will undoubtedly have stronger legs going forward thanks to its family appeal and ecstatic reviews/word of mouth. Notably, however, LEGO Batman came in below our final pre-release expectations as it appears to have over-tracked in usual industry metrics where it had been exceeding the interest levels of 2014’s LEGO Movie (which debuted to a $17.1 million opening Friday) — although, to be fair, social media proved to be a more accurate indicator in this instance.
Despite topping Zootopia‘s Thursday evening gross by $500,000 (as reported below), LEGO Batman came in $4.5 million shy of the Disney pic’s overall Friday gross. Still, this is a runaway success for Warner as the film could top out around $58 million this weekend should the family audience drive it on Saturday and Sunday. With a Presidents Day weekend around the corner next week, staying power remains expected to impress.
Meanwhile, John Wick: Chapter 2 posted $11 million on opening day, exceeding the studio’s expectations and coming close to our own final forecast. The well-reviewed action sequel appears to be on course for around $27.5 million this weekend.
Key weekend projections are below with official estimates from the studios to follow on Sunday.
|1||The LEGO Batman Movie||$58,000,000||—||4,088||—||$14,188||$58,000,000||1||Warner Bros.|
|2||Fifty Shades Darker||$45,000,000||—||3,710||—||$12,129||$45,000,000||1||Universal|
|3||John Wick: Chapter 2||$27,500,000||—||3,113||—||$8,834||$27,500,000||1||Lionsgate / Summit|
|6||A Dog’s Purpose||$7,600,000||-28%||3,025||-153||$2,512||$42,829,675||3||Universal|
|7||La La Land||$5,100,000||-31%||2,065||-1171||$2,470||$126,110,345||10||Lionsgate / Summit|
|10||The Space Between Us||$1,600,000||-58%||2,758||-54||$580||$6,425,158||2||STX Entertainment|
|12||Resident Evil: The Final Chapter||$1,200,000||-74%||1,213||-1891||$989||$25,065,430||3||Sony / Screen Gems|
|13||xXx: The Return of Xander Cage||$1,300,000||-66%||1,178||-1300||$1,104||$42,912,048||4||Paramount|
|1||Rogue One: A Star Wars Story||$1,400,000||-52%||929||-684||$1,507||$527,066,968||9||Disney|
|3||Jolly LLB 2||$700,000||—||173||—||$4,046||$700,000||1||FIP|
|5||The Founder||$680,000||-53%||454||-482||$1,498||$680,000||4||Weinstein Company|
|9||Passengers||$270,000||-69%||215||-889||$1,256||$98,020,565||8||Sony / Columbia|
|12||Gold (2016)||$155,000||-89%||215||-1951||$721||$155,000||3||The Weinstein Company / Dimension|
|2||A United Kingdom||$62,000||—||4||—||$15,500||$62,000||1||Fox Searchlight|
Thursday Night Report: Kicking off a very busy weekend at the box office, Universal took the early (expected) crown on Thursday evening as Fifty Shades Darker earned $5.72 million from opening shows. While off 33.5 percent from Fifty Shades of Grey‘s $8.6 million Thursday night launch two years ago, that still represents a healthy launching pad for the sequel as fans plan to turn out over the weekend heading into Valentine’s Day on Tuesday.
Two films appealing to far different audiences ended up in a virtual tie on Thursday night. The LEGO Batman Movie earned an excellent $2.2 million in its debut, a 29 percent edge on Zootopia‘s $1.7 million Thursday gross last March. By further comparion, 2014’s The LEGO Movie bowed to $400,000, but that was notably before Thursday night shows had become as prolific as they are today. LEGO Batman remains expected to handily win the weekend.
Meanwhile, the second film in that tie was John Wick: Chapter 2 as it also took in $2.2 million last night. The strongly reviewed action sequel came in 65 percent ahead of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back‘s $1.33 million start last October, and easily blew away the original John Wick‘s $870,000 in October 2014.
All told, each of the three wide releases remains primed for a lucrative frame ahead. The snowstorm in the northeast could remain something of a factor in business around areas like New York and Boston, but that remains to be seen.
Check back here on Saturday morning for weekend projections based on official Friday estimates.