Audiences steamed things up at the box office this weekend, but gentlemanly spies didn't have a shabby debut, either.
Coming in at #1 this weekend is Fifty Shades of Grey (read our review), which grossed $81.6 million domestically in its first three days. That's the second-most lucrative opening weekend in the history of February (behind only The Passion of the Christ) and all but guarantees that the in-development sequels will become a reality shortly. Just from the U.S. numbers, Fifty Shades has already doubled its budget, so the extra $158 it made from international markets is icing on the cake.
While the debut is certainly stellar, one has to wonder just how strong its hold will be. After dominating Valentine's Day with $36.7 million, the numbers plummeted on Sunday to $14.6 million (a 60 percent drop in a single day). That's an indicator that the less-than-favorable critical reception the film received may hurt it in the long run. That said, the adaptation of the worldwide bestseller has already made a hefty profit for the studio.
Coming in at #2 is new arrival Kingsman: The Secret Service (read our review). Matthew Vaughn's raunchy spy thriller grossed $35.6 million in its opening weekend, which is a stark increase from the last time the filmmaker adapted a Mark Millar comic for the big screen (Kick-Ass, $19.8 million). Coupled with $43.8 million overseas, Kingsman is off to a very nice start and should prove to be a big winter hit when all is said and done.
The film's box office performance exceeded the expectations that pundits had for it going into Friday, a development that was probably aided by its positive word-of-mouth and interesting concept. Though the movie isn't for everybody, Kingsman should prove to be a strong holdover, as it won't face much direct competition for its target audience in the next few weeks.
The #3 film is last week's champ, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, which made $30.5 million during its second weekend. Since there aren't many family films playing right now, the movie has been able to take advantage of a barren marketplace and make an impressive $93.6 million domestically so far, already earning more than its 2004 predecessor.
At #4 is American Sniper with $16.4 million. Clint Eastwood's war drama has grossed $304.1 million so far, which is more than the total of the seven other Best Picture nominees combined. Sniper is also the third 2014 release to cross the $300 million plateau, and has a solid chance at surpassing The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 for the top spot by the time it has ended its run.
Rounding out the top five is Jupiter Ascending, which fell 48.7 percent to make $9.4 million. That's only slightly ahead of where the Wachowskis' Speed Racer was at the same point in its release, meaning that Ascending - despite the pretty visuals - will not be a return to form from the Matrix directors.
Placing in the #6 slot is Seventh Son. The fantasy novel adaptation made $4.1 million in its second weekend to up its cumulative total to $13.4 million.
Paddington comes in at #7 with $4.1 million. The family film wasn't able to hang with SpongeBob, but it still has a very respectable $62.3 million domestic total, and the international numbers have ensured that this is a major success for the Weinstein Company.
At #8 is The Imitation Game, which made $3.5 million. The Oscar contender has grossed $79.6 million so far during its domestic box office run.
Coming in ninth place is The Wedding Ringer, which added $3.4 million to up its domestic total to $59.7 million
Rounding out the top 10 is Project Almanac. The found footage time travel adventure took another big hit (it came in fifth last week) and made $2.7 million over the weekend. The Michael Bay-produced movie has brought in $19.5 million to date.
[NOTE: These are only weekend box office estimates - based on Friday and Saturday ticket sales coupled with adjusted expectations for Sunday. Official weekend box office results will be released on Monday, February 16 - at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo