Weekend Box Office (February 19 - 21, 2016)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND There was no stopping fans from rushing out to the multiplexes for a wild dose of super hero fun as the juggernaut Deadpool held steady in the number one spot for a second frame with an estimated $55M falling a reasonable 59% from its holiday debut. The cume shot up to a staggering $235.4M after just 10.5 days already making it the sixth highest-grossing R-rated movie of all-time.

Buzz has been strong and repeat business is helping too. Add in no major competition from new releases and the Fox hit has amassed a fantastic gross so far with plenty more still to come. The final domestic haul should reach the area of American Sniper's $350.1M challenging Clint Eastwood's smash for number two all-time among R films. Matching the record $370.8M of The Passion of the Christ may not be possible.

International audiences are loving Deadpool's unique action-comedy blend too. A hefty $85.3M came in this weekend from 74 overseas markets pushing that tally to $256.3M and the worldwide haul to a stellar $491.7M. Korea led the new territories with a strong $12.1M launch while the top overall market remains the U.K. with $36.9M through its second weekend. With Japan still to come in June, Deadpool is now on course to finish its global run with over $800M which is astonishing for a film that cost only $58M to produce.

For those looking for lighter fare compared to ultraviolent super hero action, Kung Fu Panda 3 did the trick coming in second place again with an estimated $12.5M dropping a moderate 37%. Fox has grossed $117.1M to date and the toon threequel is benefiting from being the only game in town for younger kids. The third Panda is currently running 17% behind the pace of its 2011 predecessor domestically. Global has climbed to $294.2M including just seven international markets with $137M coming from the world's top place - China.

The biblical drama Risen debuted in third place with an estimated $11.8M and averaged $4,048 from 2,915 theaters. Starring Joseph Fiennes, the PG-13 film was given a fairly wide launch for a faith-based film with Sony targeting its audience effectively. Studio data showed that the crowd was 53% female and 70% over 25. Reviews were mixed, but these films do not depend too much on the opinions of film critics. Word of mouth is good so Risen hopes to keep finding more audiences during the weeks leading up to Easter.

A24 enjoyed a nice little launch for its low-budget horror title The Witch which debuted to an estimated $8.7M. Averaging a decent $4,245 from 2,046 sites, the R-rated period thriller garnered strong reviews from film critics while buzz from ticket buyers was shaky. Two weeks ago, Hail Caesar! had the same disconnect between media and regular joes.

Dropping 54% in its second weekend and taking fourth place was the dating comedy How To Be Single with an estimated $8.2M. With $31.8M thus far for Warner Bros., a $45-50M final is likely.

Failing to finish in the top five on opening weekend was the biopic drama Race which bowed to an estimated $7.3M from 2,369 locations for a soft $3,071 average. Focus earned mixed reviews for its Jesse Owens saga and the February release slot led to no help from awards season. Many critics described the film as being not bad, but ordinary and not special. Starpower was low and the opening in the middle of Black History Month did little to motivate audiences who were never very excited about this PG-13 film in the first place.

Ben Stiller's hope for a career resurgence, the comedy sequel Zoolander 2, took a nosedive tumbling 60% from what was a disappointing opening weekend. The estimated take of only $5.5M gave Paramount a troubling $23.7M on its way to a $33M finish. It cost over $50M to produce and is the latest underachiever for Stiller. The Frat Pack in general with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn have not been selling at the box office in recent years, a far cry from their numerous hits a decade ago.

Remaining a sturdy draw at the turnstiles since the 1990s was Leonardo DiCaprio whose Oscar offering The Revenant followed with an estimated $3.8M. Down 42%, the Fox release has banked an impressive $165.1M to date and is hoping to win the film industry's biggest prize next weekend. Worldwide tally has risen to $381.6M.

All-time domestic champ Star Wars: The Force Awakens spent its tenth weekend in the top ten and grossed an estimated $3.8M as well, off 38%. Disney has now amassed $921.6M domestically and $2.04 billion worldwide with a little more left in the tank. The Coen Brothers watched their latest project Hail, Caesar! fall sharply to tenth place with an estimated $2.6M, down 59%, giving Universal a soft $26.2M.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $119.3M which was up 15% from last year when Fifty Shades of Grey stayed at number one with $22.3M; and up 27% from 2014 when The LEGO Movie remained in the top spot for a third time with $31.3M.

Compared to projections, both Risen and The Witch were on target with my respective forecasts of $12M and $8M while Race came in a little below my $9M prediction.

Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Gods of Egypt, Eddie the Eagle, and Triple 9 all open.

# Title Feb 19 - 21 Feb 12 - 14 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Deadpool $ 56,470,167 $ 132,434,639 -57.4 3,722 2 $ 15,172 $ 236,865,054 Fox
2 Kung Fu Panda 3 12,516,601 19,755,738 -36.6 3,448 4 3,630 117,121,185 Fox
3 Risen 11,801,271 2,915 1 4,048 11,801,271 Sony
4 The Witch 8,800,230 2,046 1 4,301 8,800,230 A24
5 How To Be Single 8,202,430 17,878,911 -54.1 3,357 2 2,443 31,746,063 Warner Bros.
6 Race 7,353,922 2,369 1 3,104 7,353,922 Focus
7 Zoolander 2 5,455,344 13,841,146 -60.6 3,418 2 1,596 23,673,355 Paramount
8 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3,907,295 6,159,276 -36.6 1,618 10 2,415 921,713,590 Disney
9 The Revenant 3,866,741 6,525,668 -40.7 1,939 9 1,994 165,183,291 Fox
10 Hail, Caesar! 2,745,705 6,395,545 -57.1 1,726 3 1,591 26,258,850 Universal
11 Ride Along 2 2,229,825 4,458,420 -50.0 1,210 6 1,843 86,515,305 Universal
12 The Choice 1,802,224 5,220,939 -65.5 1,817 3 992 16,619,702 Lionsgate
13 The Lady in the Van 1,504,739 553,778 171.7 540 6 2,787 3,817,926 Sony Classics
14 The Boy 1,436,592 3,140,355 -54.3 977 5 1,470 33,360,570 STX
15 The 5th Wave 1,312,378 2,701,581 -51.4 850 5 1,544 31,956,244 Sony
16 The Finest Hours 1,010,546 2,715,268 -62.8 946 4 1,068 25,473,815 Disney
17 The Mermaid 985,052 35 1 28,144 985,052 Sony
18 Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer 902,457 357 1 2,528 902,457 Lionsgate
19 The Big Short 887,975 1,345,071 -34.0 432 11 2,055 67,135,716 Paramount
20 Brooklyn 766,626 1,088,551 -29.6 443 16 1,731 35,364,727 Fox Searchlight
Top 5 $ 97,790,699 $ 190,436,102 -48.6
Top 10 121,119,706 215,810,637 -43.9
Top 20 133,958,120 232,616,245 -42.4
Top 10 vs. 2015 133,958,120 113,269,419 18.3

Last Updated: February 21, 2016 at 3:05PM ET

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