Although FIFTY SHADES DARKER had a stronger Friday, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE ultimately prevailed this weekend, grossing an estimated $55.6 million. The second entry in Warner Brothers’ new franchise did not do as well as its predecessor, but this is still a strong opening frame considering the comparatively modest $80 million budget. Strong reviews may also convince adults to give the film a try.
FIFTY SHADES DARKER was on the other end of the critical scale, boasting a lowly 9% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY was also eviscerated by critics and it made no difference in either case. DARKER’s $46.8 million gross is also down from the previous entry, but still strong enough to demonstrate audience interest.
Another franchise that definitely still has fans happy is Keanu Reeves’ John Wick adventures. JOHN WICK CHAPTER 2 opened with a strong $30 million, outperforming industry expectations by one third. With many foreign territories still to come and strong VOD/disc revenue likely, this will almost certainly not be the last chapter for Mr. Wick. Critics responded just as enthusiastically as fans, earning the film a 90% fresh rating.
Last week’s champ, SPLIT, slipped to 4th place, but with its $112 million performance thus far, Universal can hardly be disappointed. Oscar hopeful HIDDEN FIGURES continues to sell tickets, finishing 5th with another $8 million and more than $130 million and counting.
Those interesting in catching the major Oscar nominees this year still have a chance as LA LA LAND, LION, FENCES, and MANCHESTER BY THE SEA continue to perform well.
The studios have to be happy with this weekend’s haul. We expect that the top three films here will continue to dominate next weekend’s slate as the new entries, including the big-budget China/USA fantasy THE GREAT WALL and the horror film A CURE FOR WELLNESS, are not displaying much promise. The most interesting limited release is XX, a horror anthology helmed by four female directors.