Fifty Shades of Grey is hot. How hot? Try “scorching.” Having broken records for President’s Day weekend, the only thing stopping this erotic novel adaptation is word of mouth.
A drop in ticket sales is all but expected, but even with the anticipated decline, Fifty Shades is poised to retain its number one spot for a second weekend in a row. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Universal Pictures release is “likely to add $30 million this weekend.”
“That would represent a decline of about 65% from the movie’s three-day gross last weekend.”
If that is the case, the film would fall in line with the likes of Sex and the City and Twilight, two properties that catered heavily to female audiences. Both of those films had second-weekend declines of around 62 percent.
The $40 million film about sadist billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and the sexually inexperienced Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) debuted to $93 million over the holiday weekend, where it broke records for not only February openings but also the widest debut — in terms of number of theater screens — for a theatrical release with a restricted rating (Fifty Shades of Grey opened in 3,646 theaters).
Overseas, Sam Taylor-Johnson’s movie is a big hit as well, pulling in $209 million. So in the span of six days, the erotic romance has grossed an impressive $311.7 million.
Three new releases will attempt to dethrone Fifty Shades of Grey: The DUFF, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and McFarland, USA. Of the three, the unwarranted sequel to 2010’s Hot Tub Time Machine should have the best opener. The $14 million comedy reunites Clark Duke, Rob Corddry, and Craig Robinson, but original star John Cusack is nowhere to be found. Nevertheless, the comedy is expected to recoup its budget opening weekend.
CBS Films’ and Lionsgate’s The DUFF (short for “Designated Ugly Fat Friend”) looks to be Fast Times at Ridgemont High by way of Mean Girls. Made for less than $10 million, the adolescent comedy starring Mae Whitman (TV’s Parenthood) is projected to earn between $7 million to $9 million.
Disney latest sports drama, McFarland, USA, turns its attention to the world of high school cross country running. The studio’s last sports movie, Million Dollar Arm, struck out with audiences, but this one could travel far with modest word of mouth. Kevin Costner stars as a coach at a low-income high school as it overcomes obstacles in an attempt to become the first cross country high school champion for the state of California. It is also expected to earn between $7 million to $9 million.
Current releases looking for attention include Kingsman: The Secret Service and Spongebob Squarepants: Sponge Out of Water. They are the likely candidates to finish behind Fifty Shades of Grey. During President’s Day weekend, both earned at least $40 million. Look for Spongebob to take second with at least $20 million in earnings.
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