Universal's Fifty Shades of Grey lived up to the hype at the box office this weekend with an estimated three-day start of $81.7 million. The highly anticipated erotic romantic drama opened in line with its massive (and wide-ranging) pre-release expectations, which had surged in the weeks leading up to the film's release due in part to extremely strong pre-sales. Fifty Shades of Grey seized control of the record for the largest three-day Presidents Day weekend debut of all time; as it outpaced the $56.26 million three-day start of 2010's Valentine's Day by a very impressive 45 percent. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Fifty Shades of Grey claimed the second largest opening weekend ever for the month of February, as it placed just behind the $83.85 million opening weekend performance of 2004's The Passion of the Christ. Fifty Shades of Grey also claimed the fifth largest R-rated opening weekend of all-time (behind only 2003's The Matrix Reloaded, last month's debut of American Sniper, 2011's The Hangover Part II and The Passion of the Christ). Universal's current four-day estimate for Fifty Shades of Grey is $90.7 million.
Fifty Shades of Grey opened with $30.3 million on Friday (which included an estimated $8.6 million from Thursday night shows), experienced a healthy 21 percent Valentine's Day boost on Saturday to take in $36.7 million and is estimated to decline 60 percent on Sunday to gross $14.7 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.70 to 1. It is possible that Fifty Shades of Grey may be quite front-loaded going forward, due in part to the opening weekend rush out of the film's pre-existing fanbase. The film's lackluster C+ CinemaScore rating and poor critical reviews aren't promising early signs either when it comes to long term holding power.
The audience breakdown for Fifty Shades of Grey skewed heavily towards female moviegoers (68 percent) and towards moviegoers over the age of 25 (58 percent). The film grossed $2.1 million over the four-day frame from its limited IMAX run in 85 locations, which was announced fairly last minute.
Fox's Kingsman: The Secret Service was off to a nice start of its own this weekend with an estimated second place take of $35.6 million over the three-day frame. The Matthew Vaughn directed graphic novel adaptation starring Colin Firth exceeded expectations and likely received an added boost from serving as counter-programming for audiences not interested in Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, Kingsman claimed the seventh largest three-day Presidents Day weekend debut ever. Kingsman opened a very impressive 79.5 percent stronger than the $19.83 million debut of 2010's Kick-Ass. BOXOFFICE is currently projecting a four-day start of $40.5 million for Kingsman.
Kingsman: The Secret Service opened with $10.5 million on Friday (which included an estimated $1.4 million from Thursday night shows), increased 47 percent on Saturday to gross $15.45 million and is estimated to decline 37.5 percent on Sunday to take in $9.65 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 3.39 to 1. Kingsman received a solid B+ rating on CinemaScore.
After last weekend's stronger than expected debut, Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water fell two spots and 45 percent to claim third place over the three-day frame with an estimated $30.54 million. While The SpongeBob Movie experienced a significant second weekend decline for a family film over Presidents Day weekend, the film still continues to exceed expectations in a big way thanks to getting off to such a strong start last weekend. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water has grossed $93.67 million through ten days of release and is set to surpass the $100 million mark on Monday. Paramount is currently estimating a four-day take of $37.6 million for The SpongeBob Movie.
Warner's American Sniper placed in fourth with an estimated $16.44 million. In the process the Clint Eastwood directed blockbuster starring Bradley Cooper surpassed the $300 million mark this weekend; making it just the third release of 2014 to do so. American Sniper was down a healthy 29 percent from last weekend, as the film continues to hold up well. Without adjusting for ticket price inflation, American Sniper claimed the eighth largest fifth weekend performance of all time. American Sniper has grossed a massive $304.13 million after 31 days of wide release and remains on course to become the highest grossing release of 2014. BOXOFFICE is currently estimated a four-day take of $19.0 million for American Sniper.
Fellow Warner Bros. release Jupiter Ascending rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $9.43 million. The expensive 3D sci-fi film from The Wachowskis starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis was down a sizable 49 percent from last weekend. Jupiter Ascending has grossed $32.55 million in ten days, which is very disappointing with the film's price tag in mind. The film is currently running 7.5 percent ahead of the $30.28 million ten-day take of 2008's Speed Racer (which fell 56 percent in its second weekend to gross $8.12 million). BOXOFFICE is currently estimating a $10.8 million take for Jupiter Ascending over the four-day frame.
Fifty Shades of Grey -- $90.7M*
Kingsman: The Secret Service -- $40.5M**
The SpongeBob Movie -- $37.6M*
American Sniper -- $19.0M**
Jupiter Ascending -- $10.8M**
Paddington -- $5.5M**
Seventh Son -- $4.8M*
The Imitation Game -- $4.2M**
The Wedding Ringer -- $4.0M*
Projet Almanac -- $3.2M*
Black or White -- $2.9M**
* = An official studio estimate
** = An unofficial estimate from BOXOFFICE