As expected, last weekend’s three new wide releases came in and took over the top three spots on the chart, but only one of the three actually exceeded expectations.
In first place, as expected, was the third and final film in the ‘Fifty Shades Trilogy,’ Fifty Shades Darker, which earned $38.5 million. Unfortunately, the opening followed the pattern of diminishing returns for this series falling short of the $46.6 million earned by last year’s Fifty Shades Darker, and the $85.1 million earned by the first film (which had the advantage of opening on Valentine’s Day / Presidents Day weekend). In 57 foreign markets, the film earned $96.5 million with a first place finish in Germany contributing $10.7 million to that total. The global total for the opening weekend stands at $135 million, pushing the entire franchise over the $1 billion mark worldwide.
For some smart counter-programming, Sony released family film Peter Rabbit, a combination of live action and animation, to the tune of $25 million, good for second place. That total was well ahead of even Sony’s predicted $16 million. The film should continue to play well with an A- audience score.
In third place was Clint Eastwood’s true life drama The 15:17 to Paris which starred the three young men actually involved in the terrorist incident (as well as featuring actual passengers on the train). The film was pretty much shielded from the press before opening and only has a 21% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The $30 million drama earned $12.5 million with audiences scoring the film at a B-. The film also debuted in 23 foreign markets, earning $5.7 million.
While Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was finally dethroned, it lost just 8% from the previous weekend, coming in at Number 4 with just over $10 million. After eight weeks the film’s domestic total stands at $365.8 million while the global total hit $883.4 million, now Sony’s third highest grossing film, worldwide, of all time. The movie is about $8 million away from topping Spider-Man 2 as the studio’s second highest grossing film domestically.
We still can’t count out The Greatest Showman which only dropped one spot this week (-16%) and earned $6.4 million, bringing its domestic total to $146.5 million after eight weeks. Globally, the $84 million musical has earned $314.5 million.
Two films seeing the largest drops this week — though none of the Top Ten lost more than 45% — were Maze Runner: The Death Cure (-41%) and Winchester (-44%). Maze Runner dropped four spots to Number 6 with $6.2 million in its third week, while Winchester also tumbled four spots to Number 7 with $5.2 million. Best Picture nominees The Post and The Shape of Water have seen little improvement since their nominations. The Post dropped three spots to Number 8 with $3.6 million, and The Shape of Water managed to hold on to ninth place with $3.1 million.
The weekend of February 16 will be dominated by Marvel’s Black Panther, which already holds the record for the highest grossing pre-sales. But families who can’t get in to that film will have to choose between Peter Rabbit and the new animated release Early Man, while faith-based and family audiences will be able to see the story of Samson on the big screen.
Below are the Top Ten grosses for the weekend of February 9.
1. [N] –1– Fifty Shades Freed – $38,560,195 [NEW]
2. [N] –1– Peter Rabbit – $25,010,928 [NEW]
3. [N] –1– The 15:17 to Paris – $12,554,286 [NEW]
5.  –8– The Greatest Showman – $6,443,343 [$146,579,213]
7.  –2– Winchester – $5,211,217 [$17,338,575]
10.  –4– Den of Thieves – $2,999,379 [$41,070,702]
[#] Last week’s position. [N] New in theaters. – # – Weeks in theaters. ★ HOTCHKA review | Source: Box Office Mojo