Box office roundup: Fifty Shades Darker left the competition in the shadows

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In this weekend’s box office roundup Fifty Shades Darker left the competition in the shadows with a $64.6 million worldwide gross. In its second week in domestic theatres, and adding Monday that was President’s Day, it netted $23.9 million. It has dropped 55%  at home from last frame so far and is showing sturdier legs than the original, which dropped 74% after its Valentine’s Day opening in 2015. And with the overseas numbers Fifty Shades Darker racked up $43.7 million in 59 territories, to reach a global cume of close to $300 million. Highlights came from Germany where it has tied down $20.9 million so far. The UK total, its biggest market, is now at $21 million while France reached $15.1 million. Shades notched big wins in Brazil and Italy as well, reaching $13.7 million and $12.9 million in those countries respectively. Spain is at a very decent $9.6 million, while Australia sits at a respectable $10.6 million.

Lego Batman was the only film really able to escape Mr. Grey’s global market bondage. Also in its second weekend, the lighthearted animated pic was again number one in the domestic market adding a four-day total of $42.5 million and $55.7 million from 62 foreign markets, for a global total so far close to $180 million. Warner Brothers can only be happy with their results so far, but it looks unlikely that this blockheaded dark knight will climb past the original Lego Movie’s $496 million lifetime earnings. These are, of course, movies that will generate a significant amount of income from merchandising related TV series, so it’s difficult to judge their overall success from box office earnings alone. It made $5.8 million in the UK, its biggest foreign market so far, and added $1.7 million in Mexico and $1.5 million in Germany. In Brazil it picked up $1.2 million while France’s session was worth $1.1 million and Russia chipped in a big $3.4 million weekend. Batman is headed for a China debut on March 3, and will move into Australia and Japan at the end of that month.

While the pixelated Dark Knight did a good job of shedding Grey’s snares, new U.S. entry The Great Wall found itself completely caught up in the sadomasochistic siege. Universal and Legendary Pictures giant Chinese production made just $21.7 million in its second-home debut. While Middle Kingdom earnings have been huge at $171 million, the goal of an East-West crossover megahit is still elusive. Foreign numbers totaled $19 million this frame. Great Wall took $4.5 million in a first place Russian debut, and notched $2.4 million in Australia and a solid $1.8 million in Spain. $244.6 million is a good return no doubt, but a Transformers/Fast and the Furious level production budget of $150 million makes the daring attempt at creating the first truly Chinese-American hit an unfortunate miss.

Great Wall’s problem may be that it was too Chinese for the U.S. audiences. It also made the mistake of overlooking a deadly little thorn named John Wick: Chapter 2. Lionsgate’s follow up to their breakout 2014 action film, which quadrupled its production budget and reignited Keanu Reeve’s career, made $19 million in its second week in U.S. and Canadian theaters. Most of that will come from the same young male audience that would have gone to get their adrenaline fix from The Great Wall. Overseas Wick added $15.6 million. $2.9 million came from the UK and Germany netted $2.8 million. Russia is its biggest foreign play so far with $4.6 million. John Wick: Chapter 2 has made a global cume of $94 million so far and still has openings scheduled in France, Korea, and Mexico to come.

Next week we’ll see the debut of racially charged thriller Get Out, action survival pic Collide and Rock Dog, a Chinese-made animated film aimed squarely at Western markets, that features the voices of Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Mae Whitman, J.K. Simmons and Matt Dillon.

Courtesy HFPA

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