Despite coming in 3rd place, Valentine’s Day weekend was a big win for Keanu Reeves and his new franchise starter, John Wick Chapter 2. I say franchise starter because while the box office results for John Wick made the film a surprise hit, the performance of John Wick Chapter 2 signals that there is an audience for this sort of thing. The film debuted to $30 million domestically, more than doubling the opening weekend gross of its predecessor. With an additional $10 million in worldwide markets, John Wick Chapter 2’s worldwide cume is estimated to $40 million for its opening weekend take.
This is a stunning performance for a new franchise that is essentially a well-made genre exercise. Director Chad Stahelski and star Keanu Reeves have teased a third installment. Now, it is very likely now they will get the chance to reward fans with more. It seems that John Wick has found a larger audience thanks to home video and online streaming in conjunction with the sequel’s stellar 90% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Lego Batman Underperforms But Still Impresses
While the 2nd and 1st place films earned considerably more than John Wick Chapter 2, both family-friendly superhero franchise starter The Lego Batman Movie and sequel Fifty Shades Darker both fell below their predecessors. The Lego Batman Movie’s opening domestic take is estimated at $55 million from a whopping 4,088 theatres. That’s just short of the expected $60 million gross Warner Bros was hoping for, and a 20% decline from The Lego Movie’s $69 million opening day gross two years ago. This is still a win for the film as audiences and critics alike have been praising it in high regards. With not much major competition next week, The Lego Batman Movie could have a solidly minor drop off and stay at number one for a second weekend.
Fifty Shades Has Some Stamina
While Fifty Shades Darker managed to win date night Friday, the film pulled in ahead of the $40 million studio estimate to come in second place with $46.8 million. That’s still a considerable drop off from the $85 million Fifty Shades of Grey pulled in, and because this is a front loaded film, its second weekend could come with a similar 70+% drop. Despite that critics and many audiences have been blasting Fifty Shades Darker as one of the most poorly written movies of all time, E.L. James’ internationally bestselling “books” have amassed a worldwide audience. Foreign markets contributed an additional $100 million in grosses to give Fifty Shades Darker a $146 million worldwide bout. Despite what the majority of filmgoers have to say about the film, it still has its audience’s loyalty.
With Split and Hidden Figures rounding out the top five, now with cumulative domestic grosses of $112 and $139 million respectively, the first big weekend of 2017 was certainly a success, with audience turn out being spread across multiple films. Some audience members even saw two of the three films this weekend. Next week will see how each franchise installment holds up against the Chinese box office sensation The Great Wall (starring Matt Damon) and Gore Verbinski’s heavily marketed wild card A Cure for Wellness.
Are you surprised by these box office results? Let us know in the Comments!