As expected, Fifty Shades of Grey posted a very large number this weekend, and we believe that perhaps Universal has estimated on the low side. We could be wrong, as happens now and then, but 84 or 85 million is not out of the question. It just depends on how it plays today now that the Valentine’s Day frenzy of vicarious S&M is past. Almost 82 million isn’t anything to sneeze at in any case. We were hoping for something north of 85.

Kingsman: The Secret Service rode the counter programming palomino on to a total of about 35 Million. Not a bad horse to ride in on, and right in the middle of our target range. These two big openings propelled President’s Day weekend to a record and to an increase of at least 19% over last year, more if we are correct about Mr. Grey and his red room.

Next week the openings will not be nearly as impressive. The DUFF, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and McFarland U.S.A. might combine to do about 35 Million in total, not magnificent by any means, but then last year was equally as pedestrian with Pompeii and 3 Days to Kill posting only about 22.5 Million. Given the large lead and the likely surge from new film, next week may well come in some 25 – 30% ahead of last year as well. With the first quarter about half over and with at least an even outlook for the rest of the period, we should end up Q1 comfortably ahead of 2014, with some phenomenal product in store as we head into the spring.

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