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Weekend B.O. Feb. 13-15 (Sex Sells)

Weekend B.O. Feb. 13-15 (Sex Sells)

The question
wasn’t whether the hotly anticipated film version of pseudo-porn, BDSM for beginners novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” was going to be No.1 this weekend. That was a no-brainer. The question was, how big was it going to be?

The film is
one of those “critic proof” movies, in that , it doesn’t matter what the critics were
going to say about the film, people want to see it. Though it was pretty evident
that it wasn’t going to be good. Universal didn’t screen it for the media
anywhere, until the night before it opened, knowing what they had on their hands, and they were right.  (One said: “I
would just as soon plunge my face into a deep-fat fryer while bobbing for
donuts than sit through “Fifty Shades of Grey” again”). 

On top of that, all the vaulted bragging, when “Fifty Shades” went into production, that the
film would be faithful to the book (which is supposedly pretty damn awful) even
if it meant getting a NC-17 rating, everyone knew was hogwash. Judging
from what people are saying, the film is a badly cast, unintentionally funny, very tame, R-rated disaster
of a film, in which most of the scandalous parts of the book have been toned
down or eliminated altogether. But that still wasn’t going to stop people from
seeing it.

The big
surprise was just how big the film did this weekend, since it exceeded all
expectations. The studio said, last week, that they were expecting at least $50
million at best, but the film did almost $82.7 million this weekend. Not
surprisingly, Universal has announced that two more sequels are in the works. (How
much do you want to bet that ,at least $75 million of that came from those good
Christian conservative “red” states?).

Who knew
there were so many millions of people interested in BDSM, or who wanted to get
some starter tips? Who knows what’s going on in your next door neighbor’s
house? That is, if you’re not already doing it yourself.

And that $82
million is even more amazing, since everyone knows you can watch the “real” hardcore stuff on the internet, in the privacy of your own home, and skip that
watered down “Fifty Shades” version, and save yourself a bundle on movie tickets,
parking and popcorn. Doesn’t anyone have computers?

But it seems
like everyone was in a movie-going mood this weekend, since, in second place was the
other major release this weekend, “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” That film also over-performed what box office analysts were predicting for it.  The film was pegged to do somewhere in the
$24-25 million range, but instead did some $35.6 million.

Last week’s No. 1 film, “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water,” has already grossed almost
$94 million in two weeks; and “Jupiter Ascending” didn’t drop as much as expected, coming in fourth place, after a third place finish last
week. But it’s still nowhere going to be a box office success for Warners.

Also some overseas box office numbers for “Selma” – which is now at $48.3 million domestically – are
beginning to come in, with only four territories reporting so far: the U.K.
box office is at $1.2 million to date. The film will open wider in Europe and South
America through the rest of February into March.

1) Fifty Shades of Grey  Uni.  $81,670,000 
2) Kingsman: The Secret Service  Fox  $35,600,000 
3) The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water  Par.  $30,540,000  Total: $93,673,000 
4) American Sniper  WB  $16,435,000  Total: $304,133,000 
5) Jupiter Ascending  WB  $9,430,000  Total: $32,551,000 
6) Seventh Son  Uni.  $4,153,000  Total: $13,423,000 
7) Paddington  W/Dim.  $4,150,000  Total: $62,343,000 
8) The Imitation Game  Wein.  $3,525,000  Total: $79,657,000 
9) The Wedding Ringer  SGem  $3,400,000  Total: $59,743,000 
10) Project Almanac  Par.  $2,730,000  Total: $19,560,000 
11) Black or White  Rela.  $2,586,000  Total: $17,302,000 
12) The Boy Next Door  Uni.  $1,836,000  Total: $33,871,000

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