Opening at 3,204 locations, Kingsman: The Secret Service is, by default, being positioned as the action fan's alternative to Fifty Shades of Grey.
The action-packed graphic novel adaptation finds a group of British spies attempting to save the world from a megalomaniac villain played by Samuel L. Jackson. The similarities to James Bond movies seem to be intentional, and most recent advertisements have included a "More Badass Than Bond" critic quote.
The movie's main character is played by an unknown (Taron Egerton), but he is at least surrounded by recognizable supporting players like Jackson, Colin Firth and Michael Caine. Marketing has also highlighted that the movie is from the director of X-Men: First Class, which has maintained a good reputation over the past few years and also has similar globe-trotting espionage qualities to it.
20th Century Fox has been screening Kingsman aggressively in the past few months, and seems fairly confident that they have an entertaining movie with word-of-mouth potential. Ahead of the weekend, they're hoping for a four-day debut in the high-$20-millions.
When considering past President's Day openers, that kind of opening is very attainable. Kingsman isn't going to match past comic book adaptations Ghost Rider ($52 million) and Daredevil ($45 million), but it could absolutely wind up around the same level as Constantine ($33.6 million) and Jumper ($32.1 million). On the low end, it could open on par with last year's Robocop remake ($25.1 million), though there seems to be a lot more interest surrounding Kingsman.
Kingsman: The Secret Service is also well-positioned for a strong international run. The movie has already taken in over $20 million, most of which is from the U.K. ($12.6 million through its second weekend) and Australia ($3.4 million in its debut). This weekend, it expands in to 34 new territories, including Russia and South Korea.
Still Alice expands to 502 locations this weekend, where it should capitalize on the ongoing awards buzz for star Julianne Moore. The movie has so far earned $2.58 million, and will likely add at least $1.5 million over the three-day frame.
Expanding to 224 locations this weekend, Old Fashioned is a romance that's being positioned as Christian counterprogramming to Fifty Shades of Grey. That message should resonate with some members of the faith-based community, though it doesn't mean this is going to be the next God's Not Dead: it would be surprising if Old Fashioned earned much more than $1 million or so this weekend.
Radius-TWC is releasing romantic musical The Last 5 Years (starring Anna Kendrick) at six locations this weekend. It will also be available on video-on-demand services, though, which is where it will likely earn the majority of its money.
Forecast (February 13-15)
1. Fifty Shades of Grey - $92 million ($101 million four-day)
2. SpongeBob - $33 million (-41%)
3. Kingsman - $28 million ($32.5 million four-day)
4. American Sniper - $16.3 million (-30%)
Bar for Success
With a modest budget and strong international potential, Fifty Shades of Grey gets a pass if it hits $50 million over the four-day weekend. Meanwhile, Kingsman: The Secret Service is in very good shape if it reaches $30 million by Monday.
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