'Fifty Shades Freed' Leads Weekend as Franchise Tops $1 Billion Worldwide
The weekend delivered mostly on expectations with the week's three new wide releases taking the top three spots at the box office. Leading the way was Universal's Fifty Shades Freed, pushing the Fifty Shades franchise over $1 billion globally. Sony's release of Peter Rabbit actually topped expectations while Clint Eastwood's The 15:17 to Paris was a little late arriving in the station, coming up a bit short of Mojo's pre-weekend forecast.

With an estimated $38.8 million, Universal's Fifty Shades Freed topped the weekend box office. While the number is almost spot on with Mojo's pre-weekend expectations it once again shows a decline within the franchise from one film to the next, coming up short of the $46.6 million opening for Fifty Shades Darker one year ago. By the end of its run, Darker pulled in $114.5 million domestically and should Freed deliver a similar multiplier it would be looking at a domestic run right around $95 million based on this weekend's estimate.

Opening weekend audiences gave Freed a "B+" CinemaScore, which is right on par with Darker. The opening weekend audience, however, saw the highest ratio of female to male audience members yet in the franchise, with women making up 75% of the opening weekend moviegoers. Of the overall audience, 55% were under the age of 30.

Internationally, Freed brought in an estimated $98.1 million from 57 markets led by Germany with an estimated $10.7 million for the weekend. This puts the film's worldwide opening at $136.9 million enough to push the franchise over $1 billion combined.

Coming in second is Sony's Peter Rabbit with an estimated $25 million, right on the high end of Mojo's pre-weekend forecast and well ahead of Sony's highly conservative $16 million expectations. The film received a "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences with the weekend overall playing to a crowd that was 58% female and 63% over the age of 25. The film should play well over the coming weeks, with little in the way of animation competition until Sherlock Gnomes at the end of March, and it will begin hitting a small number of international markets next weekend, expanding worldwide over the coming months.

Clint Eastwood's The 15:17 to Paris pulled into third place with an estimated $12.6 million, finishing within tracking, but short of Mojo's forecast. The film wasn't necessarily well received by opening day audiences either, receiving just a "B-" CinemaScore. Opening weekend demos saw the audience nearly split along gender lines, leaning slightly female at 51%, and overall 86% of the total audience was 25 years of age or older.

Internationally, 15:17 to Paris debuted in 23 overseas markets with an estimated $5.3 million. Italy was the highest grossing foreign market, delivering an estimated $1.5 million followed by snow-covered France with $1.4 million.

Finishing in fourth is Sony's Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which dropped a measly 10% and delivered an impressive $9.8 million in its eighth weekend in release. This pushes the film's domestic cume to $365.6 million, less than $8 million behind Spider-Man 2 as it will soon become the studio's second highest grossing domestic release of all-time.

Internationally, Jumanji delivered another $7.5 million, pushing its overseas total to $516.1 million and a worldwide cume topping $880 million. This makes the film the studio's third largest worldwide release of all-time, passing Spectre ($880.7m) and Spider-Man: Homecoming ($880.4m).

Rounding out the top five is Fox's The Greatest Showman, which, like Jumanji, is also entering its eighth week in release and dropped just 16.8% for an estimated $6.4 million weekend. The film's domestic cume now stands at $146.5 million. Since debuting on December 20, Greatest Showman has yet to see a weekend drop higher than 19.4% and, like Jumanji, hasn't dropped out of the top five.

In limited release this weekend, Lionsgate and Pantelion's La Boda de Valentina delivered an estimated $1.12 million from 331 theaters ($3,399 PTA); Sony's Pad Man debuted in 125 locations with an estimated $760,000 ($5,000 PTA); Magnolia and Shorts International released the 2018 Oscar Nominated Short Films in 180 theaters with an estimated $615,000 ($3,417 PTA); Gravitas's Bomb City delivered an estimated $31,444 from 17 theaters ($1,850 PTA); Vertical's Golden Exits delivered an estimated $12,210 from one theater; IFC's The Female Brain opened with $7,006 from two locations; and Central Square's The Peacemaker kicked things off in one location with an estimated $4,400.

Overall, the weekend ended up mostly as expected with the top twelve delivering a combined $118.4 million, down 32% compared to last year, but next weekend should more than make up for the deficit as Disney and Marvel's Black Panther leads the way, opening in 3,800+ locations. Additional new releases include Lionsgate's release of Aardman's Early Man into ~2,400 theaters and Pure Flix will release Samson in an estimated 1,200 locations.

You can check out all of this weekend's estimated results right here and we'll be updating our charts with weekend actuals on Monday afternoon.

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