With Split finally ending it’s stranglehold over the box office for the last three weeks, Valentine’s Day weekend is now a fight between a trio of sequels. Well, to be plainly honest, it’s really between the sex movie (Fifty Shades Darker) and the kids movie (The LEGO Batman Movie). Even as John Wick: Chapter 2 brings in some very positive appraisals from critics worldwide, it’s stock is not quite as lucrative to the married-with-children contingency as its competition.
That’s really no matter: John Wick: Chapter 2 will have a much better life on home video than Fifty Shades Darker and maybe even The LEGO Batman Movie. For right now, however, Fifty Shades Darker has taken a sizable lead in the race. The Friday numbers have James Foley‘s boring-as-fuck sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey currently holding in the number one spot with $21.5 million while The LEGO Batman Movie is holding strong in the second spot with $15 million. Keep in mind that the latter also premiered in a lot more theaters than Foley’s film by well over 300 venues. The LEGO Batman Movie is still expected to take the weekend but it’s now looking like an even tighter race than was prognosticated by experts.
Meanwhile, John Wick: Chapter 2 has come in with $11 million, proving that the Keanu Reeves-fronted franchise has plenty of promise for future volumes. Right now, predictions have the sequel, directed by Chad Stahelski, coming in with $29 million for the entire weekend, which is a solid debut for a lean-budgeted action film. And one should expect Split to likely take the fourth place in this line-up with Hidden Figures or La La Land taking the fifth spot in the top bracket.
It’s not likely that Fifty Shades Darker will keep up its lead next weekend, but both The LEGO Batman Movie and John Wick: Chapter 2 look to have legs for another few weekends at least. This will depend highly on a trio of wild cards that debut next week: Fist Fight, A Cure for Wellness, and The Great Wall. All of them are originals with Fist Fight and The Great Wall boasting stars that are known for bringing in the audiences and A Cure for Wellness ushering in the return of Gore Verbinski to his more eerie roots. I don’t see Fifty Shades Darker holding strong against these movies, whereas John Wick and LEGO Batman at least have some chances to give these new releases, to borrow a football phrase, the business.