Week 11 In Review: Wick wins Sequel showdown

Phil Crone

Our first big box office showdown of the year produced plenty of fireworks and major grosses this week. Here's to hoping your Cineplex was fully loaded to the teeth on the top line.

Who Wins the Box Office?! BATMAN!!

(But he doesn't need to pay his taxes.)

It was a battle of the sequels this weekend, and as most predicted, the one with the Dark Knight came out on top. "The LEGO Batman Movie" handily defeated "Fifty Shades Darker" and "John Wick 2" this weekend, but while some were calling for astronomical amounts earlier in the week, "Batman" didn't quite live up to the lofty projections, banking $53,003,468, roughly 20 percent lower than "The LEGO Movie" opened to back in 2014. Warner Brothers should have no problem legging out a success here off the $80M budget - "The LEGO Movie" grossed about 3.7x its OW over its domestic run.

I Know Gun Fu

The big question this week was what new release to load up on: a sole screen of "Batman," two screens of "Fifty Shades Darker," or four screens of "John Wick 2." The majority of FML opted for Keanu's return to the surprise 2014 hit, and most of FML was correct to do so. "John Wick 2" far exceeded its expectations, opening at an $30,436,123, more than doubling up the opening of the original and already putting it on track to make more in one week than its predecessor's total domestic run. Four of the five most common Cineplexes played "John Wick 2" the maximum four times, with the most common being filled out by two screens of "Split" and one screen each of "La La Land" and "Lion." That combination was almost the Perfect Cineplex, but you could do just a teeny bit better with one change.

Lion Heart

After an impressive expansion last weekend, "Lion" held strong against the three mammoth new releases, seeing an increase in its weekend box office take. With a 5 percent increase in box office receipts to $3,950,610, "Lion" took home a second Best Performer bonus at $179,573/Bux. 128 players wisely left $18 Bux on the table and opted for "John Wick 2" x4/"Split" x2/"Lion" x2, which grossed $157,697,582 after including $9M in bonuses.
It continues to be neck-and-neck at the top of the leaderboard between AaroCo and Throwing Darts in the Dark, with AaroCo taking about a $500k lead after catching a BP bonus with one screen of "Lion." There's still a handful of players one PC away from grabbing the lead, so it's still anyone's game.

This week gives us four new releases for Presidents' Day weekend, which will be a four-day weekend at the box office. Can "Everybody Loves Somebody" capitalize on a Valentine's Day rom-com audience? Can "Fist Fight" capitalize on "Three O'Clock High" nostalgia? Can "The Cure for Wellness" capitalize on that seriously underserved horror segment of the market? Or can "The Great Wall" capitalize on America's newfound fascination with walls? Set your lineups by Friday Noon Eastern/9 AM Pacific and we'll see you here next week!