The three new movies in wide release this weekend are on pace to meet or exceed tracker expectations. Taking No. 1 is Universal’s “Fifty Shades Freed,” which made $18.5 million on Friday and is currently estimated to make $40 million from 3,768 locations after tracker projections in the high $30 million range.
That would be a solid result for the third and final installment in the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, which just pushed lifetime grosses for the series past $1 billion and is looking at just 14 percent down from the $46 million made by “Fifty Shades Darker” last year. Hardcore fans of Christian and Anastasia were fairly positive about the film on opening night, giving it a B+ on CinemaScore. But critics, as expected, panned the film with 11 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
In second place is Sony’s “Peter Rabbit,” which is hitting the most optimistic of tracker expectations with an estimated $22.3 million opening from 3,725 screens. That’s just slightly behind the $24.5 million opening made by “The Emoji Movie” last year, and well above the $13 million made by “Smurfs: The Lost Village.” The film made $5.7 million on Friday, though a slow start during the week is expected with family films not released during school breaks, business usually picks up on Saturday matinees. Family audiences enjoyed the film, giving it an A- on CinemaScore, while critics are more mixed with a 57 percent RT rating
In third is Warner Bros./Village Roadshow’s “15:17 to Paris,” which is hitting tracker targets with an estimated $11 million start from 3,042 locations. Looking back through the box office record for director Clint Eastwood, the best comp is his 2014 film “Jersey Boys,” which opened to $13.3 million during the summer. But this is a far cry from his other 2014 release, the Oscar-nominated “American Sniper,” both critically and commercially. “Sniper” earned an $89 million wide opening and strong critical and audience reception, while “15:17 to Paris” is not being received nearly as well with a B- on CinemaScore and a 20 percent RT rating.
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” is in fourth with an estimated $8.8 million in its eighth weekend. That would give the film a domestic total of $364 million, just $25 million shy of the domestic cume posted by “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” last summer. Meanwhile, “The Greatest Showman” is closing in on “La La Land” on the box office charts, staying in the top five yet again with an estimated $6.2 million and a $145.7 million total.