Tuesday, February 17, 2015
UNIVERSAL'S 2015 BOX OFFICE BOUNCES BACK AS 'FIFTY SHADES OF GREY' BREAKS RECORDS - OPENS BIG OVERSEAS
There was a pure domination (excuse the pun) at the box office this holiday weekend by Universal Pictures 'Fifty Shades of Grey' grabbing a whopping estimated $266.4 million worldwide for a film marketed as a romance with some kink just in time for Valentine's Day.
'Fifty Shades of Grey' is shining a better light on Universal's bottom line which was drowning in red ink since the beginning of 2015 with huge box office busts. More on that later.
FSOG scored huge numbers domestically with a staggering $94.4 million over the four-day President's Day weekend. Early projections were at $60 million which FSOG blew past with ease. The previous high was set in 2010 by 'Valentine's Day' at a mere $63.1 million.
'Fifty Shades of Grey' ruled the international box office in spite of protests, critical reviews and a moderate audience score (because they wanted more sex scenes) with it debuting at #1 in 58 foreign markets earning close to a "stunning" $160 million which is the best opening ever for an R-rated film in those markets, according Box Office Mojo.
"That's the second-biggest weekend ever for Universal Pictures International (behind Fast & Furious 6), and included their biggest single day ever (Valentine's Day at $55.1 million). The movie set opening weekend records in 11 markets, including Italy ($9.1 million), Argentina and Poland. It also set a record for Universal Pictures in the U.K. ($21.1 million), France ($12 million), Russia ($10.5 million) and Brazil ($8.9 million). Other key markets include Germany ($15.2 million), Australia ($8.6 million), Mexico ($8.1 million) and Spain ($7.9 million)."
FSOG began its record breaking odyssey with Fandango reporting it to be the fastest selling R-rated film in its history. Record sales continued through the weekend when it beat out 2012's The Hunger Games after "it sold 29% of the opening weekend tickets for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” marking the largest share of receipts for any movie released in its 15-year history. That number does not take into account the Monday holiday," according to Variety.
Universal's year started with the highly anticipated Chris Hemsworth-Michael Mann computer hacker action thriller 'Blackhat' which crashed hard bringing in almost $17 million worldwide on a $70 million production budget, according to Box Office Mojo. It barely made $2 million on its opening day.
'Blackhat' was followed up with another weak showing with the Jeff Bridges film, 'Seventh Son' making $97 million worldwide with a budget of $95 million.
Universal did see black with the modest Jennifer Lopez hit thriller 'The Boy Next Door' which made $36 million on a $4 million budget.
Regardless what the critics say, FSOG outdid all expectations. The film is clearly critic proof. Although the naysayers were projecting a huge box office drop off for next weekend before before Saturday, it doesn't matter because Universal already won big.
Fans are looking forward to the second installment named Fifty Shades Darker which its theatrical title will most likely take on a different variation when released.
Universal has two more potential blockbusters and a hit film with the upcoming releases of Ted 2, Jurassic World and Pitch Perfect 2.
FSOG is in theaters now.