Will Fifty Shades Destroy John Wick and Batman at the Box Office?
While February hasn't traditionally been a hotbed for box office blockbusters, that started to change three years ago. Warner Bros.' The LEGO Movie became an instant hit in February 2014, opening with $69 million en route to $469.1 million worldwide. In 2015, Fifty Shades of Grey ($85.1 million opening weekend, $571 million worldwide) and Kingsman: The Secret Service ($36.2 million opening weekend, $414.3 million worldwide) went toe-to-toe, and last year, the R-rated Deadpool ($132.4 million debut, $783.1 million worldwide) set box office records. This year, three highly-anticipated movies square off, with The LEGO Movie spin-off The LEGO Batman movie facing a pair of R-rated sequels, Universal's sexually-charged erotic drama Fifty Shades Darker and Lionsgate's action-packed John Wick: Chapter 2. While all three should have no trouble drumming up business this weekend, we're predicting that The LEGO Batman Movie will come away with the easy win, debuting with $58.7 million.
While that tally is a bit less than The LEGO Movie's debut just a few years ago, that movie had far less competition, opening against a pair of underperforming movies, The Monuments Men and Vampire Academy. This time around, all three movies have devoted, yet much different fan bases intact, so it will certainly be an interesting race to follow this weekend. Box Office Mojo reports that The LEGO Batman Movie will debut in more than 4,000 theaters, with this animated spin-off expected to debut in roughly 300 more theaters than Fifty Shades Darker (3,700) and 1,100 more than John Wick 2 (2,900). While Fifty Shades of Grey doesn't have enough reviews in for a Tomato Meter score on Rotten Tomatoes, both John Wick 2 and The LEGO Batman Movie are already huge critical hits. The LEGO Batman Movie boasts an incredible 98% RT score, while John Wick: Chapter 2 currently has an equally-impressive 94% RT score.
We're predicting that it will be a close race for the top spot, with Fifty Shades Darker coming in second place with $57.2 million, followed by John Wick: Chapter 2 with $31.7 million. If these predictions are accurate, it would mark a sizable decline for the Fifty Shades Darker franchise, after an $85.1 million opening two years ago, but this sequel has much more competition this time around, making it a more difficult weekend to predict. It's also worth noting that Fifty Shades of Grey suffered a massive 73.9% drop in its second weekend, with its opening weekend accounting for 51.3% of its domestic haul. There is still a devoted fan base in place for Fifty Shades Darker, with the recent trailer breaking the trailer views record, with 114 million views in the first 24 hours, beating Star Wars: The Force Awakens' record of 112 million. Rounding out the top five will likely be three-time box office champ Split in fourth place with $7.1 million, followed by Rings with $6.2 million.
In the irreverent spirit of fun that made The LEGO Movie, a worldwide phenomenon, the self-described leading man of that ensemble, LEGO Batman, stars in his own big-screen adventure: The LEGO Batman Movie. But there are big changes brewing in Gotham, and if he wants to save the city from The Joker's hostile takeover, Batman may have to drop the lone vigilante thing, try to work with others and maybe, just maybe, learn to lighten up. The all-star voice cast for The LEGO Batman Movie includes Michael Cera as Robin, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred Pennyworth, Rosario Dawson as Batgirl, Zach Galifianankis as The Joker, Jenny Slate as Harley Quinn, Mariah Carey as Gotham City's Mayor McDaniels and Billy Dee Williams as Two-Face. There are also a number of DC Comics characters whose voice actors' haven't been confirmed, such as Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, The Penguin, Poison Ivy and The Riddler.
Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker, the second chapter based on the worldwide bestselling Fifty Shades phenomenon. Expanding upon events set in motion in 2015's blockbuster film that grossed more than $560 million globally, the new installment arrives for Valentine's Day and invites you to slip into something a shade darker. When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian's past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together. Also returning from Fifty Shades of Grey are Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden, Jennifer Ehle, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Victor Rasuk, Eloise Mumford and Max Martini, who are joined for the first time by Oscar winner Kim Basinger, Hugh Dancy, Bella Heathcote and Eric Johnson.
Keanu Reeves returns in the sequel to the 2014 hit as legendary hitman John Wick who is forced to back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins' guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world's deadliest killers. Original John Wick stars Ian McShane (Winston), John Leguizamo (Aurelio), Thomas Sadoski (Jimmy) and Lance Reddick (Charon) have returned to reprise their roles. New cast members include Riccardo Scamarcio as the new villain, Laurence Fishburne as an assassin known as The Bowery King, along with Common, Ruby Rose and Peter Stormare.
Rounding out the top 10 will likely be A Dog's Purpose ($5.3 million), Hidden Figures ($5 million), La La Land ($4.7 million), Resident Evil: The Final Chapter ($2.5 million) and Sing ($2.4 million). Also opening in limited release is Vertical Entertainment's thriller Don't Hang Up, China Lion's comedy Duckweed, Brainstorm Media's horror thriller Havenhurst, FIP's dramatic comedy Johnny Llb 2, Oscilloscope Pictures' documentary Kedi, Screen Media's thriller Stray Bullets and Fox Searchlight's drama A United Kingdom. It remains to be seen if any of these limited-release films will expand in the weeks and months to come.
Looking ahead to next weekend, three more vastly different movies will hit theaters in wide release. Universal will roll out its period action-thriller The Great Wall starring Matt Damon, which will go up against Warner Bros.' comedy Fist Fight, starring Ice Cube and Charlie Day, and 20th Century Fox's thriller A Cure For Wellness, starring Dane DeHaan. Also opening in limited release that weekend is IFC's American Fable, Pantelion's Everybody Loves Somebody, Sony Pictures Classics' Land of Mine, Strand's Lovesong and Reliance Big Pictures' Runningshaadi.com. Check back on Sunday for the box office estimates, and again a week from today for the next round of predictions. Until then, take a look at our top 10 projections for the weekend of February 10.
|1||The LEGO Batman Movie|
|2||Fifty Shades Darker|
|3||John Wick: Chapter 2|
|6||A Dog's Purpose|
|8||La La Land|
|9||Resident Evil: The Final Chapter|