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‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Holds At #1 But Plummets In 2nd Week; ‘American Sniper’ Outgrosses All 7 Other Oscar Best Picture Nominees

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Holds At #1 But Plummets In 2nd Week; ‘American Sniper’ Outgrosses All 7 Other Oscar Best Picture Nominees

Fifty Shades Of Grey” might be an bonafide worldwide phenomenon (a $239 million opening weekend worldwide is no joke), but in North America it appears that most audiences’ curiosity has been sated. In week two, ‘Fifty Shades’ plummeted a massive 74%, marking the biggest second-weekend drop since the summer of 2011, when “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” opened huge ($169 million) and then plummeted in week two ($47.4 million). $23 million in week two may not sound like a bad haul, but the damage has been done. ‘Fifty Shades’ held better overseas with a 56% drop, and its worldwide total is already $410 million.

Three new movies were in wide release this weekend, and two of those films fared pretty well for what they were. Lionsgate‘s teen comedy, “The Duff,” received good reviews and cracked $11 million in week one, and the Disney/Kevin Costner vehicle, “McFarland, USA,” did similar numbers. The same can’t be said for “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” the sequel no one wanted. A huge flop, ‘HTTM2’ could only muster $5.8 million in its weekend debut, which is almost 60% lower than the first film’s opening. Its pitiful sum must mark some kind of record for the lowest grossing opening weekend sequel ever. The last sequel to flop this bad was “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For,” which could only rub together $6.3 million at the end of the summer of 2014.

It’ll be interesting to see what third and fourth weekends hold for ‘Fifty Shades’ at home. The movie has grossed $130 domestically, but if it keeps falling off this drastically week to week, it’ll never hit the $200 million that seemed an easy mark after week one. Alas, those who would rather see this movie franchise go away (me) aren’t in luck. These grosses ensure sequel after sequel — hell, maybe they’ll even try and split up the third book a la ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Hunger Games.’ Or maybe E.L. James will just start writing prequels and other similar nonsense.

Dropping only 50% in week three, ‘The SpongeBob Movie’ has had a good hold and has grossed $125 million domestically so far. Week two for Fox‘s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” went well too, as the movie only dropped 51.6% — some likely anticipated a steeper decline — and is now nearing $70 million in North America. Cracking $100 million should be easy, and overseas the movie is moving in a similar trajectory.

American Sniper” is still trucking along well. With another near-$10 million added to its domestic total, the Clint Eastwood-directed movie is now at almost $320 million in North America — that means ‘Sniper’ has outgrossed the totals of all seven other 2015 Oscar Best Picture nominees combined. With another $108 million made overseas, ‘Sniper’ currently sits at $428 million worldwide, an astonishing figure for a war drama, and one that will likely hit $500 million before all is said and done (though, best be assured it’s not winning anything major tonight at the Oscars). It also now ranks as the 35th all time highest grossing film in North America, ahead of the inaugural “Transformers” film and the first “Iron Man” picture.

Jupiter Ascending” is still hanging in the top 10, despite being an unequivocal flop, and “The Imitation Game” has the distinction of being the second-highest-grossing Oscar-nominated Best Picture of the bunch. Ironically, it and “American Sniper” are looking at no major Oscars tonight and probably only small category wins at best (though Alexandre Desplat, nominated eight times without a win, looks like he’ll finally break that curse tonight). The only limited release film of note is Sony Pictures Classics’ excellent omnibus, “Wild Tales,” a collection of disparate, but thematically connected shorts by impressive filmmaking newcomer Damián Szifrón. The indie grossed $90,000 off four screens for a strong $21,275 per-screen average.

In milestones, “Taken 3” might have fallen out of the top 10, but it’s cracked $200 overseas and its worldwide total is nearing $300 million. Globally, Best Picture nominee “The Theory Of Everything” has cracked $100 million.

1. Fifty Shades of Grey — ($130,148,000)
2. Kingsman: The Secret Service — $17,525,000 ($67,106,000)
3. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water — $15,500,000 ($125,172,000)
4. McFarland, USA — $11,315,000
5. The DUFF — $11,025,000
6. American Sniper — $9,650,000 ($319,607,000)
7. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 — $5,800,000
8. Jupiter Ascending — $3,660,000 ($39,517,000)
9. The Imitation Game — $2,565,000 ($83,921,000)
10. Paddington — $2,289,000 ($67,661,000)

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