Box Office: ‘A Cure For Wellness’ Suffers Sickly Opening Weekend

The LEGO Batman Movie was able to hold on to the top spot for the second weekend in a row, dropping a respectable 35% and bringing in over $34 million. It was an easy win for the animated comedy, which faced competition from three shaky new releases. The film is just shy of a $100 million domestic total, a 10-day haul significantly far behind that of the first LEGO Movie, but oddly enough about on-par with Christopher Nolan’s gritty reboot Batman Begins.

The closest competition for the caped crusader was the risque sequel Fifty Shades Darker, which brought in $20 million and kept the number two spot. The film opened to far less than the first entry, but the fact that this second week drop isn’t quite as harsh goes some way to make up for it. Indeed, the first film dropped just under 74% in its sophomore weekend, one of the largest second-week drops in recent memory, which makes this 55% tumble for the sequel rather gentle in comparison.

50-shadesFifty Shades Darker is currently up to $276 million worldwide, meaning at this point it won’t be able to match the total gross of the first installment. It is likely to finish north of $300 million though, which is a decent result for a film with a budget of just $55 million.

Matt Damon’s controversial project The Great Wall finally saw a North American release, where it opened to an underwhelming $18 million. It is the most expensive film ever to be shot entirely in China, where it was released back in December and brought in an impressive $170 million. Those international takings may be enough to prevent The Great Wall from being a financial disaster, but clearly it it isn’t the worldwide hit it was intended to be.

John Wick: Chapter Two had a solid hold in its second weekend, dropping just under 46% for a $16.5 million finish. The film has now surpassed the entire domestic total of the first entry (which made $43 million back in 2014), and stands at a worldwide total of $90 million. The film had a production budget of around $40 million, meaning if it can deliver in the territories it has yet to open in, then it would be a safe bet to assume that the planned third movie could well go ahead.

john-wickThe R-rated comedy Fist Fight, which pits Ice Cube against Charlie Day, had a disappointing opening of $12 million. This opening suggests that Kevin Hart is the main draw for the successful Ride Along films in which Ice Cube co-stars, both of which have opened far higher than this. The opening is also bad news for Charlie Day, who hasn’t had a majorly successful starring role since 2011’s Horrible Bosses.

The final wide release of the week was Gore Verbinski’s A Cure For Wellness, which had a disastrous opening of just $4.2 million. The film received mixed reviews from critics, and the C+ CinemaScore awarded by audiences suggests word of mouth may well be non-existent. An unfortunate result for the $40 million picture which was intended to be Verbinski’s comeback after the catastrophic flop that was 2013’s The Lone Ranger.

cure-2This is also unsettling news for Dane DeHaan, whose repeated rejection by movie-going audiences bodes ill for his mega-budget starring role this summer, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Luc Besson is rumored to have placed the future of his studio on that particular feature, which has a budget of $180 million. DeHaan takes the leading role alongside co-star Cara Delevingne.

One of the weekend’s most surprising developments came from China, where Vin Diesel’s xXx: Return of Xander Cage continued to dominate. The film has made less than $45 million in America after five weeks of release, while its gross in China has already reached $134 million in just ten days. The casting of Kris Wu and Donnie Yen has boosted this film’s momentum in the country where both are huge stars.

Here’s the North American top ten in full:

  1. The LEGO Batman Movie – $34.2 million
  2. Fifty Shades Darker – $20.9 million
  3. The Great Wall – $18 million
  4. John Wick: Chapter 2 – $16.5 million
  5. Fist Fight – $12 million
  6. Hidden Figures – $7.1 million
  7. Split – $7 million
  8. A Dog’s Purpose – $5.5 million
  9. La La Land – $4.5 million
  10. A Cure For Wellness – $4.2 million

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