Box Office: Will Smith's 'Focus' is no. 1 but opens smaller than 'After Earth'
Will Smith returned to no. 1 at the box office, but was snowy weather across most of the country or diminished star power to blame for the lower than expected opening?
"Focus," which is also the first leading role for rising star Margot Robbie, opened to $19.1 million. Pre-release polling indicated the thriller would earn between $23-26 million over the three-day. Instead, it came in substantially lower and became Smith's smallest opening since "Seven Pounds" which found $14.8 million in 2008. Remarkably, it also took in less than 2013's bomb "After Earth" which debuted to $27.5 million. The Warner Bros. production reportedly cost $50 million and, at this point, will need international to push it into profitability.
Showing impressive word of mouth, 20th Century Fox's "Kingsman: The Secret Service" took second. Matthew Vaughn's action thriller dropped only 36% taking in another $11.7 million for $85.6 million to date. It's on target to earn over $100 million domestically at this point.
"The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water" bumped up to third after an expected Saturday matinee bounce. The Paramount Pictures release made $11.2 million for a very impressive $140 million cume.
Coming in fourth, "Fifty Shades of Grey" had a substantial 50% drop taking in $10.9 million for $147.7 million in the U.S. so far. Globally, the Universal Pictures release has earned over $486.1 million.
Relativity's horror flick "The Lazarus Effect" took the fifth slot with $10.6 million. "Effect" had a rare Friday to Saturday bump (15%) for a horror film. With a minuscule $3.3 million budget it could be a nice minor hit for Relativity.
The Oscars always shine a nice spotlight on films that may have gone unnoticed to the general public and a number of releases got a nice boost from their wins. "Still Alice" added 553 theaters and earned $2.6 million (up 24%) for $11.9 million to date. Best Picture winner "Birdman" added 806 theaters for another $1.97 million and $40.2 million so far (it's already available for digital download). "The Imitation Game" earned another $1.92 million for a stellar $86.8 million cume. "Whiplash" snagged another $677,000 for $12.2 million and "The Theory of Everything" found $649,000 for $35 million. Notably, "Selma" took in $450,000 to cross the $50 million mark with $50.4 million.
New releases on Friday include "Chappie," "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and "Unfinished Business."