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David Poland

By David Poland

Friday Estimates by Still Shady Klady

Friday Est corr 2015-02-21 at 8.29.40 AM

Fifty Shades of Grey is a huge success that is,not unpredictably, dropping like a stone. The international is really the story here, posting over $200 million in its first week. Domestically, the other big February openings have had second weekends of $53 million (Passion), $50 million (LEGO), $29 million (Hannibal), and $31 million (Spongebob 2). I am leaving Valentine’s Day out of this analysis, as it was date-specific. 50 Shades is unlikely to have as much as $24 million this weekend.

Day for day, Fiddy is still about $10m ahead of Twilight, but that number should be almost cut by half over this weekend.

Still, the international on 50 Shades was Top 15 all-time on its first weekend, the only comparable non-sequels being Avengers, 2012, and Avatar. It will surely pass the entire international of the Twilight run when this weekend’s international estimates are released. $600 million worldwide would not be surprising at this point.

In the domestic market, however, $200 million is not assured.

Kingsman: The Secret Service Is holding well, just under 50% from opening Friday. It’s Matthew Vaughn’s biggest non-X film and it will be interesting to see how it continues to hold. One gets the feeling it’s been hurt a little by there being no media oxygen available to discuss the film’s cultural significance.

The Duff is okay for CBS, not great for Lionsgate, and a forgettable number overall. But maybe there is a sticky movie in there. CBS has been an interesting place for teen angst, often represented in comedy. They make interesting choices… pick interesting actors… but have had a hard time finding the audience that will show up at theaters.

The numbers of Spongebob: Sponge Out Of Water are actually quite good in the current animation market. They aren’t Pixar/Disney or Lego numbers. But they will pass last year’s Peabody & Sherman, Rio 2, and has already passed many others. The question in animation is what the real budgets are. DWA argues that their overhead as a studio, like Pixar’s and Disney’s brings the cost of the films up and that Illumination and Paramount and other are artificially deflating their budget numbers by not including overhead… that the actual cost of production is about the same. Spongebob 2 claims a $74m budget. Peabody almost twice that. The difference between a success and a flop. Interesting conversation.

McFarland USA is a surprisingly good film… set up as a cliché-fest, but overcoming, thanks to the guiding hand of Niki Caro and Kevin Costner’s willingness to just be an actor here. Not a great start though. Fingers crossed for a surge of interest and a family audience. Right now, opening day is almost exactly the same as Draft Day (Waaaa-waaaa… Debbie Downer).

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is from the school of, “the first one did okay, but there is a cult-y post-theatrical thing around it, so lets make the sequel that’s a reach and shock the world!” Not sure who a $7m opening is going to shock. That said, the studio is claiming that they made this one for $14 million, about 2.5x less than the original. The first one did $14m foreign, so if they can match or surpass that, and do $20 million domestic, they might be okay financially… even good, depending on whether the cult value increases the post-Epix streaming value.

Wild Tales will do over $15k per-screen in its 4-screen debut this weekend. Not bad. Sony Classics would be thrilled for it to be the upset winner of Foreign Language tomorrow.

bp box office as of 2015-02-20

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10 Responses to “Friday Estimates by Still Shady Klady”

  1. Kevin says:


  2. movieman says:

    It’s the kids, Kevin.
    Tweener girls most specifically.
    Plus, the book was apparently pretty popular w/ that crowd a few years back.
    “McFarland” is the kind of film that mostly appeals to an older demo: the kind that doesn’t rush out to see a movie opening day.
    What puzzles me most about “Hot Tub Time Machine 2” is why John Cusack didn’t elect to reprise his role.
    Considering Cusack’s diet of straight-to-video crappola these days (Cronenberg and Lee Daniels outings notwithstanding), “Hot Tub 2” looks like Oscar bait by comparison. And I kind of hated “HTTM 2.”
    Is Cusack deliberately trying to sabotage his career a la Nick Cage?

  3. Kevin says:

    Actually, I would include the awful MAPS TO THE STARS among his career sabotage… Though I supposed doing a Cronenberg movie sounds good on paper.

  4. movieman says:

    You didn’t like “Maps,” Kevin?
    I thought it was pretty terrific.
    And compared w/ Cusack’s recent spate of straight-to-DVD action junk it’s practically “Citizen Kane”…or at least “A History of Violence.”
    Does anybody know why Cusack passed on “HTTM 2”? It’s not like he’s been especially picky in choosing projects these days.

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    An R-Rated film hasn’t hit $600 million worldwide in a decade…only PASSION and MATRIX 2 have managed it at all. Countries’ different classifications aside, it’s a shock that something that comes with such a strong whiff of porn (justified or not) could be the 3rd one to hit the milestone.

  6. Aaron Aradillas says:

    My guess even Cusack knew HTTM2 was a bad idea. I always had a feeling that he really didn’t want to do the original but thought it was a good career move to poke fun at his status as an ’80s comedy guy. You can tell when an actor is engaged with material. Nic Cage, for all his craziness, is having fun when he does a NATIONAL TREASURE or 8MM or GONE IN 60 SECONDS. Cusace probably didn’t want to do 2012 but knew it was gonna be a big hit.

  7. movieman says:

    Aaron- There’s a big difference between the “National Treasure” movies, “Gone in 60 Seconds” and some of the D-grade flotsam Cage has been churning out right and left in the past few years.
    The fact that David Gordon Green’s “Joe” proved Cage still has “it” only makes most of his “WTF?!?” recent (anti)career choices all the more depressing.
    And if Cusack was savvy enough to intuit that “HTTM 2” was a stinker, why didn’t his shit detector work before signing onto mind-numbing junk like “Drive Hard,” “The Numbers Station,” “The Factory” and “The Bag Man”?

  8. Smith says:

    Wasn’t Cage taking all those crappy parts because he was in big time trouble with the IRS and needed whatever money he could get?

  9. dinovelvet says:

    Well at least with Drive Hard, he got a paid vacation to Australia 🙂 Bag Man, ehh well he gets to work with Deniro, that’s still a thing people want to do, right? At least if you’re of Cusack’s generation.

    Also, my local multiplex put Hot Tub 2 on two(!) screens.

  10. LYT says:

    According to Wikipedia, Cusack wasn’t even offered HTTM2

    Considering it’s about all the characters turning into selfish dicks, maybe they thought his persona’s too nice for this round.

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