Weekend Box Office: New Arrivals Hit a Wall

It was the worst President’s Day weekend at the North America box office in four years as three new features – The Great Wall, Fist Fight and A Cure for Wellness– all misfired. Instead, ticket buyers spent their money on holdovers The Batman LEGO Movie, Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick: Chapter Two.

Ticket sales were down a steep 40% from last year at this time when Deadpool earned $56 million in its second weekend. The box office should come back to life the week after next when Logan kicks off a March filled with the likes of Beauty and the Beast and Kong: Skull Island.

Figures reported in this article are based on four-day weekend estimates.

The LEGO Batman Movie earned an estimated $42.5 million from 4,088 screens over the holiday frame, which helped push the film’s domestic total to $107 million. With the family market pretty much to itself for the next few weeks, LEGO Batman has a good shot at hitting the $200 million milestone by the end of its domestic run. The film has pulled in $72 million overseas so far.

Universal’s Fifty Shades Darker tied up second place with $23.2 million from 3,714 boudoirs. Off by half from its debut one week ago, Darker has whipped up $92 million so far. A final haul near the $130 million mark is possible for the second feature in the Fifty Shades franchise. Overseas, the film has pocketed $187 million so far.

After playing overseas for the past two months, Universal’s action epic The Great Wall arrived stateside Friday where it fought its way to a mild third place finish. The Matt Damon-headlined fantasy feature scored $21.6 million from 3,326 screens. Reviews for the Zhang Yimou-directed film were largely negative.

While the $150 million Chinese/American co-production tanked in the States, it has done quite well overseas. The Great Wall earned a great $171 million from the Middle Kingdom and an additional $73 million from other territories.

John Wick: Chapter Two scored a solid $19.1 million from 3,113 theaters in its second round, good for fourth place. The Lionsgate release has bagged $61.2 million so far and could finish around $85-90 million, more than double the gross of the 2014 original. John Wick: Chapter Two has also earned $31 million from international markets.

Rounding out the top five was the new Warner/New Line comedy Fist Fight. The Charlie Day/Ice Cube comedy was sucker punched by critics and largely ignored by ticket buyers. Those that did venture out to the 3,185 theaters showing the film contributed a meek $14.5 million.

The news could have been worse for Great Wall and Fist Fight. They could have had the luck Fox did with its horror feature A Cure for Wellness, which bombed outside the top ten with a dismal $5 million from 2,704 theaters. Reviews were largely negative for the $40 million production from Pirates of the Caribbean filmmaker Gore Verbinski.

  1.  Hidden Figures (Fox) $8.7 million; $144 million
  1.  Split (Universal) $8.3 million; $125 million
  1.  A Dog’s Purpose (Universal) $7.4 million; $52.5 million
  1.  La La Land (Lionsgate/Summit) $5.4 million; $134.4 million
  1.  Lion (Weinstein Company) $5.1 million; $37.4 million

This upcoming Friday sees the arrival of the acclaimed horror feature Get Out, the animated feature Rock Dog and the action film Collide. Get Out should have a decent opening but watch for The LEGO Batman feature to remain the top film in the country for a third straight weekend.

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