Weekend Box Office Report: February 13-15 2015


February 13-15, 2015(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)

TOP 51. Fifty Shades of Grey (81.6 million)2. Kingsman ($35.6 million)3. The SpongeBob Movie ($30.5 million)4. American Sniper ($16.4 million)5. Jupiter Ascending ($9.4 million)

Universal's seeing fifty shades of green after Fifty Shades of Grey had one of the best R-rated debuts ever. The sultry film dominated the box office, whipping up a jaw-dropping $81.6 million. (All puns intended.) Drawing in long-time fans of the book series as well as curious newcomers, it's an impressive debut, though I would expect a precipitous drop next weekend. A cinematic phenomenon this won't be.

Kingsman, the much more entertaining R-rated offering, also had a strong opening. The ultra-violent comic book film/James Bond homage delivered big bucks as well. The $35.6 million it made is another in a long line of great premieres this winter. Given some time, and the lack of competition the next few weeks, it could even surpass Fifty Shades. It's already beaten the much more expensive Jupiter Ascending, which has only mustered up a disappointing $32.5 million after ten days in release.

That's the opposite story of SpongeBob SquarePants, whose latest big-screen adventure has already out-grossed its predecessor in only 10 days. Who knew there were that many kids (or college stoners who now have kids) still interested in that little yellow guy who lives at the bottom of the sea? Possibly the same person who knew that American Sniper now has a real shot at becoming the highest-grossing movie of 2014. It seemed impossible, but now it's within $30 million, and the film still hasn't dropped out of the top five.

Outside the top 5: - This Weekend's Indie Champ: What We Do in the Shadows, the vampire comedy from Jemaine Clement (one half of Flight of the Conchords). It averaged $32,900 on its pair of screens.

- Old Fashioned, the "Christian alternative" to Fifty Shades, which focused on a completely celibate courtship, was up more than 2,000 percent after adding 221 screens and earning nearly $1.1 million. This won't be a God's Not Dead, but could have long legs (that you shouldn't look at lest you get any bad thoughts).

- Of all the Best Picture nominees, the one that's done the best (besides the massively successful American Sniper), was the one that already had the momentum: The Imitation Game.  It has made nearly $80 million.

Next week: It's inspiration vs. dick jokes as McFarland, USA (about an incredible track team) takes on Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (which heads into the future). Kevin Costner really hasn't done anything impressive in his comeback these last two years, so I'll bet on Hot Tub Time Machine 2, which is coming out at just the right time. After all these serious (and seriously bad movies), we need a stupid comedy. I say it opens with around $20 million, improving on the original, which had to contend with both Alice in Wonderland and How to Train Your Dragon five years ago.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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