Box Office Report: Focus Steals #1 Spot With Soft Opening

The Lazarus Effect Duplass check out Wilde

Erotic blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey continued to plummet at the box office, losing 51% of its audience from last weekend to take in an estimated $10.9 million. The film could be one of the rare box office hits to finish with less than double its opening weekend. Despite its poor legs, Universal’s R-rated drama has already brought in $147.8 million domestically and more than $300 million internationally. Not too bad for a film with a $40 million production budget. A finish between $165 and $170 million looks good for Grey.

Opening to moderate results in fifth place was The Lazarus Effect, which brought in an estimated $10.6 million. Even with producer Jason Blum’s name bringing in fans of Insidious and Paranormal Activity, this is one of his poorest openings yet. It did perform better than his February berth from two years ago though, the already-forgotten Dark Skies ($8.2 million), though. With a cast including Olivia Wilde, Donald Glover and Mark Duplass, The Lazarus Effect did not have much of a marketing effort. Regardless, with a $3.3 million budget, Relativity Media should still make a small profit. However, a C- CinemaScore indicates a rocky road ahead.

As for films trying to take advantage of their Oscar wins from last Sunday, only two finished in the Top 10. American Sniper slid just 23% to add another $7.7 million to its robust box office run. (By next weekend, it should be 2014’s biggest-grossing film.) Meanwhile, Still Alice, featuring Julianne Moore’s award-winning turn, jumped to ninth place, earning $2.7 million. With $12 million in its grasp already, the film is already one of Sony Pictures Classics’ biggest hits of all time.

Finally, Best Picture winner Birdman saw a 125% surge this weekend, adding $2 million to its total and having its highest-earning weekend since mid-November. The Oscar champion is already on DVD, though, and its stay at the multiplex should die down by mid-March.

Here are the numbers for the Top 10 films at the North American box office for the weekend of February 27 through March 1, 2015:

1. Focus – $19.1 million (NEW)
2. Kingsman: The Secret Service – $11.8 million ($85.7 million total)
3. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water – $11.2 million ($140.3 million total)
4. Fifty Shades of Grey – $10.9 million ($147.8 million total)
5. The Lazarus Effect – $10.6 million (NEW)
6. McFarland, USA – $7.8 million ($22 million total)
7. American Sniper – $7.7 million ($331.1 million total)
8. The DUFF – $7.2 million ($20.1 million total)
9. Still Alice – $2.7 million ($12 million total)
10. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 – $2.4 million ($10.3 million total)

NOTE: These numbers are weekend estimates based on Friday and Saturday’s estimated takes. Actual numbers for the three-day weekend are reported on Monday afternoon.