February 10, 2018

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “50 Shades Freed” Solid, “Peter Rabbit” OK, “15:17 To Paris” Slow


Although still down steeply from Fifty Shades of Grey, FIFTY SHADES FREED (Perfect World/Universal) is opening on par with the initial sequel Fifty Shades Darker.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, Freed earned $18.4M on its first day (including $5.6M from Thursday night), down 14% from Darker, which could translate into a $40M weekend, and an eventual US total that might reach $100M.  In addition, Freed like its predecessors is likely to earn the bulk of its worldwide total overseas (both Shades of Grey and Darker found around 70% of their gross outside the US), and at $300M+, it won’t be a blockbuster on $150M+ in production/marketing costs, but will be a profitable end to the trilogy.

PETER RABBIT (Columbia/Sony) hopped to a fair $5.7M opening day, more than double the $2.4M start for the recent Paddington 2 in the CG animation field.  That could give it a $23M weekend, and a possible US total in the $90Ms, although it does face direct competition next week from the stop-motion animated Early Man, as well as the all-quadrant Black Panther.  In addition, Peter Rabbit, like Paddington, should have considerable international appeal.

THE 15:17 TO PARIS (Village Roadshow/Warners) isn’t showing much strength with a $3.7M Friday that might bring it to $11M for the weekend.  That would be a return to Earth for director Clint Eastwood, who before the hit Sully ($35M opening weekend) and the blockbuster American Sniper ($89.3M wide opening weekend) had starts of $13.3M for Jersey Boys, $11.2M for J. Edgar, and $12M for Hereafter.  Those films ended up in the $33-47M range in the US, and so should 15:17, which could find additional interest overseas due to the setting.  Eastwood, in any case, keeps his costs in check, and although Warners’ marketing may bring the total nut to $100M, the film should end up somewhere between modest loss and modest success.

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE (Columbia/Sony) slipped just 24% on its 8th Friday to $2.2M for a $9M weekend, as it heads toward $380M+ in the US, which would make it the #2 film (behind the original Spider-Man, not adjusting for inflation) in Sony Pictures history.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN (20th) was almost as strong, down 30% from last Friday to $1.6M for a $6M weekend, on its way to $155M in the US.

THE MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE (20th) fell 48% to $1.5M on Friday, with a $5M weekend ahead, on pace for $60M in the US, down about 25% from the last installment.

WINCHESTER (CBS/Lionsgare) dropped 61% from last Friday to $1.4M, and will have $4-5M for the weekend, hoping to get over $25M before it’s done, which might allow it to reach breakeven on low costs.

The Oscar contenders are starting to run out of steam without much in the way of fresh awards news.  THE POST (DreamWorks/Reliance/Participant/20th) dropped 45% from last Friday to $850K for a $3M weekend, continuing to make its way to $80M in the US.  THE SHAPE OF WATER (Fox Searchlight) lost 41% to $800K and is also en route to a $3M weekend, with $55M in the US ahead.



About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."