Despite a steeper than expected drop, Universal’s Fifty Shades of Grey easily whipped up the stamina for another first place finish at the weekend box office. Adding another $22M to it’s impressive $129M domestic haul, Fifty Shades is proving to be an even bigger hit overseas where it’s closing in on the $300M mark just 10 days in theaters. And though sequel plans remain foggier than the view from Christian Grey’s penthouse at the moment – word on the street is that Fifty Shades author E.L. James is hoping to pen the script for Fifty Shades Darker herself. Fans should expect to see many more shades of grey in the years ahead.
Also hanging tight in second and third place were Fox’s Kingsman: The Secret Service and Paramount/Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Squarepants: Sponge out of Water which raked in another $18M and $16.5M, respectively.
But the biggest shocker of the weekend – aside from John Travolta’s strange face-touching antics at the Oscars – was the fact that a tiny, female-driven teen comedy, with no major stars to speak of landed in fifth place with $10.8M. Lionsgate and CBS Films’ girl-powered The DUFF, definitely surpassed expectations. Paramount’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2, the sequel to one of the buzziest cult hits of the past decade, floated to the weekend’s seventh spot with $5.9M.
Based on Kody Keplinger’s darkly funny 2010 young adult novel of the same name, The DUFF (which stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend) is striking a chord with young female audiences and should prove to be a modest word-of-mouth hit for Lionsgate and CBS Films over the next few weeks.
Also opening wide over the weekend was Disney’s cross country racing drama McFarland, USA. Featuring the unofficial king of all sports movies Kevin Costner doing what he does best – inspiring a team of underdogs to victory despite the odds – McFarland took in $11M over the weekend. Directed by Whale Rider writer/director Niki Caro, McFarland is proving to be something of a sleeper hit and should have strong legs, both onscreen and at the box office, for a while.
Complete Box Office Results – February 20-22, 2015
|1. Fifty Shades of Grey/Universal||$22M / $129M|
|2. Kingsman: The Secret Service/Fox||$18M / $67.9M|
|3. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water/Paramount Pictures||$16.5M / $126M|
|4. McFarland, USA/Disney||$11M|
|5. The DUFF/Lionsgate||$10.8M|
|6. American Sniper/Warner Bros.||$10M / $320M|
|7. Hot Tub Time Machine 2/Paramount||$5.9M|
|8. Jupiter Ascending/Warner Bros.||$3.8M / $39.6M|
|9. The Imitation Game/The Weinstein Company||$2.5M / $83.8M|
|10. Paddington/The Weinstein Company||$2M / $67.8M|