Sunday, February 8, 2015

'The Spongebob Movie' dominates, while 'Jupiter Ascending' and 'Seventh Son' flop at weekend box office

After a strong January that featured one of the biggest R-rated hits of all-time in the form of American Sniper, the month of February is getting off to a fast start as well. Hits like Fifty Shades of Grey and Kingsman don't arrive until next weekend, but that gave ample time for Paramount's The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water to clean up at the box office. The animated comedy grossed $56 million over the three-day frame, which is the fifth-highest grossing February weekend of all time. That's a mighty impressive opening and with no competition, SpongeBob will carry on to be one of the biggest hits of this young year. However, disappointment came in the form of a "B" Cinemascore, which is well below what many children's films usually receive. Despite that low audience rating, Sponge Out Of Water has more than enough momentum to recoup its $74 million production budget and start a new franchise. This is a huge victory for Paramount.

In second place was Warner Bros.' American Sniper with $24.1 million. Sniper has now grossed $282.2 million at the box office and shows no signs of slowing down. The film dropped only 21% from last weekend and should continue to hold strong. I'm betting on a finish above $350 million for the biopic phenomenon.

Warner Bros.' Jupiter Ascending became the first mega-budget flop of the year, grossing a paltry $19 million. The sci-fi flick cost an absurd $176 million and will cause a massive write-down for the studio (thankfully, American Sniper grosses should offset some of the costs of this bomb). Jupiter Ascending also received a dismal "B-" Cinemascore which means that audiences liked it as much as the critics did (the movie is currently sitting at 22% on Rotten Tomatoes). The Wachowskis have pretty much lost all of their Hollywood clout and will need to rebuild their brand image if they want to stay in the business.

Surprisingly, Jupiter Ascending wasn't even the biggest bomb of the weekend. That distinction went to Universal's Seventh Son, which pulled in $7.1 million in fourth place. The film is marked with a production budget of around $90 million and will cause trouble for its studio as well. Thankfully, Seventh Son has already pulled in $83 million overseas so the damage won't be too severe. Like Jupiter, the film received a "B-" Cinemascore to go along with dismal reviews (10% on Rotten Tomatoes). Seventh Son will disappear from theaters rather quickly and its doubtful that anyone will remember this film by the end of the year.

The Weinstein Company's Paddington finished in fifth place with $5.3 million, an impressive total for the film's fourth weekend. The British family flick has now made $57.2 million and will likely close with around $70 million domestically. Paramount's Project Almanac was close behind in sixth place with $5.3 million as well. The found footage film took a relatively mild 36% plunge in its second weekend and has now made $15.7 million. Not bad considering the film cost only $12 million to produce, but certainly not great.

The Imitation Game continued its strong run this weekend in seventh place with $4.8 million. The British period drama has now grossed $74.7 million and will definitely pass the $100 million mark before the end of its run. Close behind in eighth place was The Wedding Ringer, which grossed $4.8 million. The Kevin Hart comedy has now made $55.1 million and will surely make a profit for Screen Gems.

Black or White grossed $4.5 million in ninth place. The drama has now made $13.1 million, which is not exceptional. But it couldn't have cost much, so Relativity isn't in much trouble on this one. Finally, The Boy Next Door rounded out the top ten with $4.1 million. The film has pulled in $30.8 million so far.

Next weekend sees the release of Fifty Shades of Grey and Kingsman: The Secret Service. Here are my predictions for the four-day weekend:

1. Fifty Shades of Grey- $105 million
2. Kingsman: The Secret Service- $60 million
3. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water- $38 million
4. American Sniper- $25 million
5. Jupiter Ascending- $13 million
6. Paddington- $4.8 million
7. Seventh Son- $4.7 million
8. The Imitation Game- $4.5 million
9. Project Almanac- $4 million
10. The Wedding Ringer- $3.9 million

Image Credits: We Are Movie Geeks. Variety, Schmoes Know, Rama Screen

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