After a record-breaking berth last weekend due to Valentine’s Day and much upfront demand, Fifty Shades of Grey plummeted down to reality, but still finished in first place with an estimated $23.2 million. That is a 73% drop from its opening last weekend, which broke a record for the month of February. With mixed word-of-mouth and the lack of a romance-themed holiday boosting ticket sales, a large drop was expected. However, even when compared to female-skewing adaptations of popular books, it was steep. In comparison, the most a Twilight film fell in its sophomore weekend was 70%, while The Fault in Our Stars fell 69% last June. Valentine’s Day, which opened in the same frame five years ago, dropped 70% in its second weekend.
Even with the treacherous drop-off, Fifty Shades of Grey has earned $130.1 million in its first ten days, and is currently 2015’s biggest earner. (American Sniper is, technically, a 2014 release due to its platform opening on Christmas Day.) Unfortunately, when actuals are reported on Monday, the erotic drama will likely come in with a lower gross. Universal is currently predicting a 31% drop from Saturday to Sunday. Given that the Oscars are on Sunday evening, and films aimed at adults usually drop between 40% and 50% on the day of the Academy Awards, it could end up with closer to $22 million for the weekend.
As for the two other big February hits, Kingsman: The Secret Service and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water were not far behind in second and third place. The R-rated spy thriller dropped a sizeable 52% to earn $17.5 million in its second weekend, bringing its total to $67.1 million. On Thursday, the film surpassed the total of Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass, and should flirt with the $100 million mark by the end of its run. The action film has performed admirably for an R-rated comic book adaptation and is days away from surpassing the totals of V for Vendetta ($70.5 million) and Sin City ($74.1 million).
Meanwhile, SpongeBob continued to bring in families, although the film keeps dropping at larger-than-expected rates. Losing 51% of its audience from last weekend, Sponge Out of Water added another $15.5 million to its gross. With $125.2 million in ticket sales so far, the 3D comedy should ultimately make its way to the neighborhood of $160 million, or nearly double what The SpongeBob Squarepants Movie made in 2004.