In news that really shouldn’t surprise anyone with their finger remotely near the pulse of popular culture, 50 Shades of Grey held onto the top spot for the second week in a row, beating out a Kevin Costner Teaches Boys How To Be Men movie, a Sassy Teen Comedy, and a Comedy Sequel That No One Actually Wanted In The First Place. However, this victory does not come without an asterisk or two. As successful as 50 Shades of Grey is, a quick examination of the numbers highlights a movie that will struggle in the weeks ahead.

FilmWeekendPer Screen
150 Shades of Grey$23,246,000 (-72.7)$6,360$130,148,000
2Kingsman: The Secret Service$17,525,000 (-51.6)$5,366$67,106,000
3The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water$15,500,000 (-50.7)$4,212$125,172,000
4McFarland, USA$11,315,000$4,107$11,315,000
5The DUFF$11,025,000
6American Sniper$9,650,000 (-41.2)$2,983$319,607,000
7Hot Tub Time Machine 2$5,800,000$2,014$5,800,000
8Jupiter Ascending$3,660,000 (-60.4)$1,462$39,517,000
9The Imitation Game$2,565,000 (-26.4)$1,822$83,921,000
10Paddington$2,289,000 (-43.3)$1,246$67,661,000


There’s no getting around the fact that 50 Shades of Grey is a huge hit. It’s already in the black. It’s dwarfed its budget. It got people talking unlike any other movie released in 2015 so far. However, its $80 million opening weekend suggested that it would have an easy road to $200 million (and maybe even $300 million). But this second weekend, while strong, also saw a 72% drop to $23 million. That is massive and it reflects an audience reaction that has been deeply mixed. Many fans of the book don’t seem too enthralled with the film adaptation, let alone the newcomers. Even with $130 million in the bank after two weeks, it’s going to be a long, rough road to $200 million.

Speaking of films hanging on, Kingsman: The Secret Service remained in spot numero dos, dropping a big (but more reasonable) 51% for a $17 million weekend. With $67 million earned so far, the film is undeniably a hit and it should cross $100 million in about three weeks or so, guaranteeing that sequel everyone has been mulling over. It may not be a genuine phenomenon like the film above it, but it has been more reliable.

Third place also belonged to another holdover. With a third weekend gross of $15 million, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water has hit $125 million, which is about double what most people suspected it would make in its entire run. At this rate, it may actually outgross 50 Shades of Grey! Maybe. But it will be much closer than anyone expected.

And that brings us to the newcomers. The Kevin Costner sports drama McFarland, USA opened in fourth place with a shrug-worthy $11 million while the Mae Whitman high school comedy The DUFF trailed by pennies in fifth (they may swap places by tomorrow). Neither of those numbers are totally disastrous (these were not expensive movies), but they’re also much lower than anyone involved would like them to be. Still, these are the exact kind of movies that tend to do better at home than in theaters. Expect to see them have a minor second life in your local Redbox.

Oh, and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 bombed in seventh place, opening to a dismal $5 million. Thankfully, the film was made for a handful of dimes and a baggie of cocaine, so no one will be hurting too badly from this one.

The rest of the slots were filled by films in holding patterns. American Sniper? Still killing it. Jupiter Ascending? Still dying. The Imitation Game? Still a huge sleeper hit? Paddington? Also still a huge sleeper hit. The question now is whether or not the Academy Awards will have any effect on next week’s numbers. Eh, probably not.

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