Box Office Wrap Up: Fifty Shades Freed Whips Competition.
While the final installment of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise didn’t set records, it did remember the safe word long enough to take first place.
February 2018 has a lot of work to do to catch up to recent years. Movies such as Get Out and Deadpool, and even the first Fifty Shades film, have posted big box office numbers in previous years, and as of yet 2018 has not found a break-out hit to match those totals. This week all three new wide releases managed to place in the top three as ticket sales rallied after the big sports ball game last weekend. If early ticket sales are any indication, Black Panther is set to turn the rally into a rout, having sold the most pre-sale tickets of any super-hero film to date. That may be bad for our current top three but great for the box office.
This Week in Box Office History.
The second week in February put up numbers that were a welcome change from last weekend, but only managed to work its way to the middle of the pack compared to the last decade. Overall sales were up 44% over the previous week but down 27% from the previous year. Stronger showings from staple hits like Star Wars and the presence of an animated movie that drew big audiences (Kung Fu Panda 3, both Lego Movies) made recent years successful despite the dip in viewers during the football championship whose name I am legally prohibited from typing.
Top Three Films.
The third and final film in the Fifty Shades franchise, Fifty Shades Freed, took the top spot this weekend with 38 million dollars in sales. This is down slightly from the second film, which banked 46 million on opening weekend. Both sequels made around 50% less than the first film, which debuted at 85 million. As consolation, it did beat the pants off of the crummy Marlon Wayans’ spoof, 50 Shades of Black.
Second place went to the CG kids romp, Peter Rabbit. The animated film made 25 million in ticket sales, a solid 50% of its budget. Critic and audience reactions were mixed to mildly positive. As a comparison, this film did worse than the first live action Alvin and the Chipmunks or Smurf movie, but better than most of those film’s follow-ups. If this rabbit is to have a litter of sequels, they’re most likely going to be of the “straight to DVD” variety.
The bronze medal went to Clint Eastwood’s biographical film, The 15:17 to Paris. The film took in 12 million dollars, roughly half of its budget, but is sitting in the basement when it comes to both critic and audience scores of the film. The upside is that Eastwood’s films have a solid core of followers who ensure that his projects tend to have staying power, even if they don’t make big waves.
The rest of the top ten list was the usual suspects. Jumanji and The Greatest Showman have shown tremendous longevity in the top ten, even if it took a few weeks for them to find their footing. The same can be said of the two Oscar hopefuls that have managed to hang around the top ten, The Post and The Shape of Water.
Top Ten Movies.
Fifty Shades Freed (38.8)
Peter Rabbit (25.0)
The 15:17 to Paris (12.6)
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (9.8)
The Greatest Showman (6.4)
Maze Runner: The Death Cure (6.0)
The Post (3.5)
The Shape of Water (3.0)