'Chappie' chokes, 'Unfinished Business' tanks in underwhelming debuts

Chappie movie 20151. Chappie – $13.3 million [debut week] Neill Blomkamp will no doubt be happy to move on to the “Alien” franchise after his latest failed to match expectations, which in some cases were as high as $20 million. “Chappie” seemed more of a family film, but its “R” rating likely kept its more viable audience home. That proved to be a common theme this weekend. Budgeted at $49 million, “Chappie” may be able to scrape through to profitability, but it will have to overcome negative critical response (30% freshness on RottenTomatoes) and modest audience interest (the film has a B CinemaScore).

Focus movie 2015 - Will Smith shirtless and Gerald McRaney2. Focus – $10 million [2nd week; $34.6 million in total] – Will Smith’s latest tumbled down to second place after a somewhat lackluster opening last weekend. It was another film, like “Chappie” that met with middling critical acceptance and audience interest – mirroring “Chappie’s” B CinemaScore.

3. Kingsman: The Secret Service – $8.3 million [4th week; $98 million in total] “Kingman” has taken the slow and steady route in its approach to $100 million with no especially significant week on the Top 5, but it’s maintained stronger footing than other films like “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  It will finally reap the benefits of its sustained campaign as it hits $100 million this week.

4. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – $8.6 million [debut week] In a limited release — opening in 1,573 theaters, “Marigold” had one of the better dollar per theater performances of the weekend.

SpongeBob-Movie-Sponge-Out-of-Water5. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponger Out of Water – $7 million [5th week; $148 million total] As the lone family-oriented film out in theaters these days, “SpongeBob” has coasted to a sizable profit and doubling its $74 million budget. “SpongeBob” is trailing “Fifty Shades of Grey” for 2015’s top grosser by about $8 million right now and could catch it to claim the top spot until “Furious 7” hits theaters.

Vince Vaughn’s latest, “Unfinished Business” couldn’t even crack the Top 5 in its debut week, managing a terrible $4.8 million. Vaughn’s comedic star power has taken some major hits with bombs like “The Dilemma,” “The Watch” and “Delivery Man” and this career worse was exactly the opposite of what he needed. Thankfully for him, he’ll be starring in the second season of “True Detective” so he’ll be just fine.

In other box office news, “American Sniper (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack)” shot past “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD]” to become the highest grossing movie of 2014 with $337 million.