With three high-profile new releases entering theaters this weekend, the family friendly movie Peter Rabbit was expected to best the R-rated Fifty Shades Freed and the true story adaptation The 15:17 to Paris in theaters, but this box office weekend had some unexpected results. Exceeding most analysts expectations, Fifty Shades Freed wound up on top with an estimated $38.6 million. While the estimate is still more than most expected, it still continued a downward trajectory for this franchise.
The Fifty Shades trilogy of R-rated movies began in 2015 with Fifty Shades of Grey, starring Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele. The first movie debuted with an impressive $85.1 million, although it suffered a massive decrease of 73.9% in its second weekend, and ended its domestic run with $166.1 million with $404.9 overseas for a global total of $571 million from a meager $40 million budget. The sequel Fifty Shades Darker debuted with $46.6 million, a huge drop-off from the original, with $114.5 million domestic, plus $266.5 million internationally for a global haul of $381.1 million, from a slightly-increased $55 million budget. While this new movie didn't drop off quite as much, it still is a drop from the last movie.
Believing they've left behind the shadowy figures from the past, billionaire Christian Grey and his new wife, Anastasia, fully embrace their inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. Just as the Greys begin to step into their new roles, sinister events come to light and jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, with a supporting cast including Arielle Kebbel, Tyler Hoechlin, Max Martini, Dylan Neal, Eric Johnson and Rita Ora.
Peter Rabbit debuted in second place with $25 million, with The 15:17 to Paris debuting in third with $12.6 million and the top 5 rounded out by Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle with $9.8 million and The Greatest Showman with $6.8 million. Peter Rabbit and his three sisters, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-Tail, enjoy spending their days in Mr. McGregor's vegetable garden. When one of McGregor's relatives suddenly moves in, he's less than thrilled to discover a family of rabbits in his new home. A battle of wills soon breaks out as the new owner hatches scheme after scheme to get rid of Peter, a resourceful rabbit who proves to be a worthy and wily opponent.
The top 10 is rounded out by The Maze Runner: The Death Cure ($6 million), Winchester ($5 million), The Post ($3.5 million), The Shape of Water ($3 million) and Den of Thieves ($2.8 million). Also opening in limited release is Pantelion's La Boda de Valentina, which earned $1.1 million from 331 theaters for a middling $3,399 per-screen average, and Sony's Padman, which earned $760,000 from 152 theaters for a $5,000 per-screen average. No details were given for IFC's The Female Brain, Reliance Entertainment's Aiyaary and Parade Deck's FourPlay.
Next weekend, Marvel rolls out Black Panther, which was is one of the most highly-anticipated movies of 2018, which had a near-perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes until one critic ruined the fun. That superhero adventure will go up against Lionsgate and Aardman Animation's stop-motion comedy Early Man and PureFlix's Samson. Also opening in limited release next weekend is FilmRise's The Boy Downstairs, WellGo USA's Detective K: Secret of the Living Dead and The Monkey King 3, Sony Pictures Classics' Loveless, Bleecker Street's Nostalgia, Film Movement's Oh Lucy! and Roadside Attractions' The Party. Take a look at the box office estimates below, courtesy of Box Office Mojo, and check back on Tuesday for next week's predictions.