Box Office: 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Earns 81 Million in Green
Remind me never to become the head of a movie studio.
I assumed nothing much would happen with Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” and it blew away all competition. This weekend, on only its 31st day of wide release, it earned another $16 million to pass the $300 million mark. The current No. 1 movie of 2014, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1,” took 36 days to reach that mark, so unless “Sniper” stumbles badly near the finish, it will soon take over that mantle. I’m guessing before the end of the month.
I also assumed “Fifty Shades of Grey,” the movie based upon the scandalous (or scandalously written) novel, wouldn’t do much business. Soft porn is all well and fine when it’s on your Kindle, but showing up in theaters for it? I could imagine the movie bombing after all that hype.
Instead, it’s grossed $81 million over three days, which is the second-highest-grossing February release ever, after “The Passion of the Christ” ($83 million in 2004)—with which, you could say, it shares certain thematic elements: bondage, whipping, a hint of redemption. So studio heads take note. Maybe this will be our regular February fare in the future.
The other wide-release opener, “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” a kind of teenage James Bond reimagined through a “Mad Men” lens, grossed $35 million in 3,204 theaters to finish second. The second weekend of “SpongeBob” finished third, with $30 million. “Sniper” was fourth, while “Jupiter Ascending” continued to descend, grossing $9 million for a total gross of $32.