Additionally, the Fifty Shades franchise topped a combined $1 billion worldwide yesterday with Fifty Shades Freed topping $50 million by end of day. The film is expected to top $100 million internationally alone this weekend.
In second is Sony's Peter Rabbit, delivering an estimated $5.7 million with an expectation for a $20-23 million three-day. The film scored a "A-" CinemaScore.
The final new wide release of the weekend is WB's The 15:17 to Paris, which brought in an estimated $3.7 million on Friday and is looking at an opening around $11-12 million. The film scored a "B-" CinemaScore.
You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and we'll be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.
FRIDAY AM UPDATE: Universal Pictures' Fifty Shades Freed grossed $5.6 million in late night shows in 3,150 locations beginning at 7 PM. This is just a shade behind the $5.72 million Fifty Shades Darker brought in from preview showings last year before opening with $46.6 million over the same weekend, suggesting a $40+ million debut is not at all unrealistic.
Neither The 15:17 to Paris nor Peter Rabbit held preview screenings.
We'll take a closer look at things tomorrow morning once Friday estimates come in. For now you can check out our weekend preview below.
WEEKEND PREVIEW: February kicks off with three new wide releases including the final chapter in the Fifty Shades franchise, Fifty Shades Freed, alongside Sony's live-action/animated hybrid Peter Rabbit and Clint Eastwood's true life thriller The 15:17 to Paris. The three new titles are expected to lead the way at the box office, which means Sony's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle will fall outside the top two for the first time since hitting theaters eight weeks ago.
Looking at an easy finish atop the box office, Universal's release of Fifty Shades Freed brings an end to a franchise that began with Fifty Shades of Grey in 2015 delivering an $85.1 million debut, a record opening for February at the time. Last year Fifty Shades Darker opened with $46.6 million, leading to a nearly $115 million domestic haul as the first two films in the franchise grossed a combined $280.7 million domestically and over $950 million worldwide. This weekend Freed will open in 3,768 domestic locations along with 56 international markets, including France, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Japan and the U.K. as the franchise will quickly cross $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
As for how Fifty Shades Freed will fair this weekend, the film's opening is expected to drop once again compared to its predecessor, with the studio is anticipating an opening in the low-$30 million range with tracking going only as high as $35 million. That being said, we're expecting the film to do a little better, if not challenging a $40 million debut.
IMDb page view comparisons show Freed pacing behind Fifty Shades Darker, which is to be expected for a third film in a franchise, but the pace isn't so far off it signals a massive drop by comparison. All things considered, the range currently we're looking at puts the film's opening anywhere from $36-44 million with our official forecast closer to the low end of that range, anticipating a debut around $38 million.
Sony's Peter Rabbit hops into second place, and while the studio suggests they're looking for an opening around $16 million we're having a hard time finding evidence for an opening below $20 million. Debuting in 3,768 theaters, comparisons to past releases within the genre, and those specifically from Sony, suggest an opening closer to $20-25 million is a better bet, especially considering family friendly options have been soft for some time now following the disappointing debut for Paddington 2 in mid-January.
Clint Eastwood's The 15:17 to Paris is looking at a third place finish with tracking services looking at an opening around $12-14 million from just over 3,000 locations. To look at IMDb page view data, awareness for the film was virtually non-existent until the first trailer dropped 58 days before release. Since then, interest has been ahead of films such as the recently released 12 Strong ($15m opening) and just a bit behind Hacksaw Ridge ($15.1m opening), both comparisons suggesting an opening closer to $15 million is much more likely. In fact, our analysis suggests a debut anywhere from $14.5-$18 million is a strong possibility if not slightly higher. With that in mind, we're looking for an opening around $16.5 million and would be more surprised if we're over than under.
Sony's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle rolls into fourth place this weekend, likely to dip around 22% or so for a weekend around $8.5 million, pushing the film's domestic total over $364 million.
Fox's The Greatest Showman should round out the top five, dropping around 19% for a weekend at or above $6.2 million as its domestic total closes in on $150 million.
Also hitting theaters this weekend, look for Lionsgate and Pantelion's La Boda de Valentina in 325 theaters; Sony will release Padman into 152 locations; and Magnolia and Shorts International will release this year's crop of Oscar Nominated Short Films into ~200 locations.
Overall, we're expecting this weekend's top twelve to deliver a combined $116-120 million. This is well short of the nearly $175 million for the top twelve over the same weekend last year, which saw The LEGO Batman Movie, Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick: Chapter Two top the weekend with a combined $130 million alone. That being said, next weekend's arrival of Disney and Marvel's highly anticipated Black Panther over the four-day President's Day weekend should more than make up for this weekend's shortfall.
This weekend's forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.
- Fifty Shades Freed (3,768 theaters) - $38.0 M
- Peter Rabbit (3,725 theaters) - $23.0 M
- The 15:17 to Paris (3,042 theaters) - $16.5 M
- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (3,136 theaters) - $8.5 M
- The Greatest Showman (2,373 theaters) - $6.2 M
- Maze Runner: The Death Cure (2,923 theaters) - $6.1 M
- Winchester (2,480 theaters) - $4.9 M
- The Post (1,865 theaters) - $3.3 M
- The Shape of Water (1,780 theaters) - $3.3 M
- Hostiles (2,214 theaters) - $2.7 M
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