Weekend Box Office: Soft Focus

Terrible storms throughout the nation have once again taken a toll on the domestic box office. Both of the weekend’s new wide releases debuted lower than anticipated, but some Oscar winners scored a nice little bump.

In the third weekend of its release, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ got whipped out of the top spot by Will Smith’s return to worthwhile cinema in ‘Focus‘. Budgeted at $50 million to produce (which is much lower than Smith’s usual fare), the romantic con artist caper grossed $19.1 million. That total may seem quite low for a Will Smith vehicle, but instead of being an all-audiences-invited big-budget tentpole, ‘Focus’ is an R-rated, character-driven flick. With an additional $12.2 million overseas, the film is off to a mild start, but that might be fine for such a modest movie.

For the third weekend in a row, ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service‘ remained in the #2 spot, which is where the film has resided since it opened. Its gentle 36% decline gave it a nice $11.7 million weekend that pushed its 17-day total up to $85.6 million. The action flick – which cost $81 million to produce – has earned $121.4 million overseas and sits with a worldwide total of $209.8 million.

With no new kid-friendly competition, ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water‘ dipped a slight 32% with another $11.2 million and remained in the #3 spot. Over four weeks, ‘SpongeBob’ has absorbed $140.3 million domestically and $96.3 million overseas.

Fifty Shades of Grey‘ fell a brutal 74% in its second week and saw an additional 50% decline in its third. The front-loaded flick debuted to $85.1 million, but has been hit so hard that this weekend only made $10.9 million in ticket sales. While the movie continues to tank domestically, its international numbers keep climbing. Overseas, ‘Fifty Shades’ has grossed $338.4 million. Combined with the domestic total of $147.7 million over the last 17 days, it will cross the worldwide milestone of $500 million this week.

New release ‘The Lazarus Effect‘ had a soft fifth-place debut with $10.6 million. The PG-13 horror title was produced for a micro budget of $3.3 million, so it won’t take much to be a financial success, but those opening numbers are quite low for an all-ages scary movie.

David Cronenberg’s ‘Maps to the Stars‘ had a terrible 66-screen release. Focus Features picked up distribution rights after the film’s Cannes debut last year. The $139,000 domestic opening and $2,106 per-screen average must sting.

Many of last week’s Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning films received big boosts at the box office. ‘Birdman‘, ‘Whiplash‘ and ‘The Theory of Everything‘ are already available on Blu-ray, yet all made great in-theater increases due to the accolades.

Box office numbers for ‘Everly’ have yet to be announced.

Top 10:

1. ‘Focus’ (Warner Bros.) – $19,100,000

2. ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ (Fox) – $11,750,000

3. ‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’ (Paramount) – $11,200,000

4. ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (Universal) – $10,927,000

5. ‘The Lazarus Effect’ (Relativity) – $10,600,000

6. ‘McFarland, USA’ (Buena Vista) – $7,797,000

7. ‘American Sniper’ (Warner Bros.) – $7,700,000

8. ‘The DUFF’ (Lionsgate) – $7,150,000

9. ‘Still Alice’ (Sony Pictures Classics) – $2,695,000

10. ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2’ (Paramount) – $2,400,000

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