It was another slow weekend at the box office, but the former king of ticket sales reclaimed his crown for the time being.
Coming in at #1 this weekend is the new crime film Focus (read our review), which opened with $19.1 million. That's a little bit below the expectations that distributor Warner Bros. had for it, and a sign that even with likable leads like Will Smith and Margot Robbie, a lukewarm critical reception will ultimately hurt your film, regardless of its level of competition.
Smith, once a box office lock, has hit a snag in recent years, and that was not rectified by the soft debut of Focus. Its performance in the first three days is the actor's lowest since his 2008 film Seven Pounds; meaning that even the disaster that was After Earth posted higher numbers when it opened a couple of summers ago. For whatever reason, audiences would not fall for the con Smith was pulling on them, and he'll have to wait until his next film to try to reclaim his former glory. At least he has Suicide Squad to look forward to.
Coming in at #2 once again is Kingsman: The Secret Service with $11.7 million. Matthew Vaughn's highly-stylized action romp has never cracked the top spot in its three weeks of release, but it continues to be a strong hold. The domestic total for the film is now at $85.6 million, which, coupled with the equally-impressive international gross, makes the possibility of a sequel all the more likely.
The #3 film is The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, which added $11.2 million to its sizable domestic total (currently at $140.3 million). There isn't much left to say about the film's commercial performance. Family audiences have very limited options, and SpongeBob is taking advantage.
Falling to #4 is the two-time reigning champ, Fifty Shades of Grey, which made $10.9 million in its third weekend. Though it opened huge on Valentine's Day, the film was subject to atrocious critical and audience word-of-mouth, causing its numbers to plummet since its debut. The romantic drama has now made $147.7 million domestically.
Rounding out the top five is this weekend's new horror film The Lazarus Effect (read our review), which made $10.6 million during its first three days. That may not seem like much for a fresh production, but considering the film had a limited marketing campaign, it certainly stands out. And besides, the film is well on its way to profitability, as it was made for the microscopic figure of $3.3 million. It won't be a mainstream hit, but it certainly attracted the niche of horror junkies.
Coming in at #6 is McFarland, USA, which made $7.7 million this weekend. Kevin Costner's latest inspirational sports tale has made $21.9 million so far during its theatrical run, and has held well - a testament to the positive word-of-mouth the movie has generated.
In the #7 slot is Clint Eastwood's American Sniper, adding $7.7 million to is astronomical domestic total. The war drama is now in a virtual tie with Guardians of the Galaxy for the title of second-highest grossing film of 2014 with its $331.1 million cumulative gross, and it's only a matter of time before it passes The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 for the top spot.
At #8 is the teen comedy The DUFF, which made $7.1 million in its second weekend. The film has now made over $20 million domestically.
The Oscar-winning Still Alice rose to the ninth spot this weekend, taking advantage of star Julianne Moore's Academy Award victory and an expansion to over 1,000 locations. Thanks to the boost in awareness, the drama grossed $2.6 million this weekend, raising its domestic total to $11.9 million.
Rounding out the top 10 is Hot Tub Time Machine 2. One of the most noteworthy flops of the year, the comedy sequel only managed $2.4 million in its second weekend and has made a weak $10.2 million in two weeks of release.
[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, March 2 - at which time we'll update this post with any changes.]
Source: Box Office Mojo