Before The Hunger Games set box office records in March 2012, that month wasn't normally considered one to launch a franchise. Lately, February has been a go-to month to launch some unconventional blockbusters, following the success of Warner Bros.' The LEGO Movie ($69 million opening, $469.1 million worldwide). Fifty Shades of Grey ($85.1 million opening weekend, $571 million worldwide), Kingsman: The Secret Service ($36.2 million opening weekend, $414.3 million worldwide) and the R-rated Deadpool ($132.4 million debut, $783.1 million worldwide). 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. As expected, all three newcomers fared quite well, but The LEGO Batman Movie came out on top with $55.6 million.
Box Office Mojo reports that The LEGO Batman Movie debuted in 4,088 theaters, with this animated spin-off earning an impressive $13,609. Fifty Shades Darker opened in second place with $46.7 million, opening in 3,710 theaters for an impressive $12,614 per-screen average. John Wick 2 debuted in third place with $30 million, opening in 3,113 theaters for a $9,642 per-screen average. While Fifty Shades of Grey did open big, it was trashed by the critics, earning just a paltry 9% on Rotten Tomatoes, while, both John Wick 2 and The LEGO Batman Movie are already huge critical hits. The LEGO Batman Movie boasts an incredible 91% RT score, while John Wick: Chapter 2 currently has an equally-impressive 90% RT score.
This opening marks 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. 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 is three-time box office champ Split, falling from first to fourth place with $9.3 million, followed by Hidden Figures with $8 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 is A Dog's Purpose ($7.3 million), Rings ($5.8 million)
La La Land ($5 million), Lion ($4 million) and The Space Between Us $1.7 million. Also opening in limited release is Fox Searchlight's drama A United Kingdom, which earned $70,000 from 4 theaters for a $17,500 per-screen average. China Lion's comedy Duckweed earned $160,000 from 27 theaters for a $5,926 per-screen average, while FIP's dramatic comedy Johnny Llb 2 earned $780,000 from 173 theaters for a $4,509 per-screen average and Oscilloscope Pictures' documentary Kedi earned $40,510 from one theater. No box office data was given for Vertical Entertainment's thriller Don't Hang Up, Brainstorm Media's horror thriller Havenhurst and Screen Media's thriller Stray Bullets and . 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. Take a look at the box office estimates for the weekend of February 10, and check back on Tuesday for next weekend's predictions.