Kingsman: The Secret Service was arguably more impressive than Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend. Playing at 3,204 locations, the comic book adaptation opened to $36.2 million, which is in the same ballpark as recent action movies Taken 3 ($39.2 million) and The Equalizer ($34.1 million).
For the four-day weekend, it earned $41.7 million, which trounces past President's Day titles like The Wolfman, Constantine, Jumper, and A Good Day to Die Hard.
Fox's decision to schedule Kingsman against Fifty Shades of Grey raised some eyebrows: was it really possible for this R-rated action movie to make money against the Valentine's Day juggernaut that is Fifty Shades? In hindsight, this seems like a particularly savvy move: by providing such a stark contrast, the movie wound up being the de facto counter choice over the holiday weekend.
Of course, scheduling alone won't do the trick—the movie also needs to seem like it delivers the goods, which Kingsman seemed to do. The movie looked like a lot of fun, and had a wave of strong buzz thanks to Fox's aggressive pre-screening program.
The movie also benefited from the fact that it fit equally in to two genres that are near their peak right now: comic book adaptations and spy movies. In particularly, Kingsman got a lot of mileage out of the critic quote "More Badass Than Bond," which is surely helped by the fact that 007 is coming off his most-successful outing in decades.
Kingsman received a "B+" CinemaScore, which aligns nicely with its 71 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie should hold decently in the coming weeks, and has a solid chance of ultimately reaching $100 million.
After a surprisingly strong debut last weekend, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water fell 43 percent to $31.5 million this weekend. That's a fairly steep drop for a movie like this; in comparison, The LEGO Movie was off 28 percent on the same weekend last year. Still, the movie reached $100 million on Monday, and should ultimately reach $150 million before the end of its run.
American Sniper eased 30 percent to $16.4 million, which ranks eighth all-time among fifth weekends. On Sunday, it passed $300 million, and remains on track to ultimately become the highest-grossing movie from 2014 with over $340 million.
Jupiter Ascending rounded out the Top Five with $9.25 million, which is off 50 percent from last weekend. The big-budget sci-fi flick has so far earned $32.4 million, and still has an off-chance of ultimately reaching $50 million. Meanwhile, Seventh Son dropped 43 percent to $4.15 million, which brings its total to a meager $13.4 million.
After nearly a month in limited release, Still Alice expanded to 502 locations and earned an estimated $1.7 million. To date, the movie has grossed $4.6 million; with Julianne Moore pegged as a sure thing to win the Best Actress Oscar next Sunday, Still Alice should continue to hold well in the weeks to come.
Old Fashioned, a Christian romance that was positioned as Fifty Shades counter-programming, earned just under $1 million at 224 locations. That seems to be the biggest weekend ever for a faith-based movie playing at fewer than 300 theaters, and should be considered a decent result for distributor Freestyle Releasing.
What We Do in the Shadows opened to an excellent $65,800 at two locations, which translates to a $32,900 per-theater average. The movie played on a single screen at each location, and nearly all its shows were sell outs. The well-reviewed vampire comedy will expand to the top 25 markets by the end of the month.
Musical The Last 5 Years earned $42,042 from three locations this weekend. It was also available on video-on-demand, though those numbers aren't currently available.
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• 'Fifty Shades' to Dominate Valentine's Day Box Office
• 'Jupiter Ascending' Crushed By Super 'SpongeBob'
This Timeframe in Past Years:
• 2014 - 'LEGO Movie' Dominates President's Day Weekend
• 2013 - 'Die Hard' Narrowly Wins Presidents Day Weekend
• 2012 - 'Safe House' Secures Presidents Day Lead
• 2011 - 'Unknown' Takes Top Spot, 'Number Four' Is Number Three
• 2010 - 'Valentine's Day' Massacres Presidents' Day Record
• 2009 - 'Friday the 13th' Hacks Up Top Spot
• 2008 - 'Jumper' Teleports to the Top
• 2007 - 'Ghost Rider' Blazes in Debut
• 2006 - 'Eight Below' Enjoys Warm Reception
• 2005 - 'Constantine' Smokes in Debut
• Weekend Box Office Results
• 2015 Domestic Box Office