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Box Office: Will Smith’s ‘Focus’ Heading for $23 Million Opening Weekend, ‘Fifty Shades’ Slipping

Focus Movie Will Smith

Will Smith’s “Focus” is ending the box office dominance of of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” with a moderate opening in the $21 million to $23 million range expected at 3,323 locations this weekend.

While hardly dazzling, “Focus” won’t be a disaster for Warner Bros., unlike Smith’s 2013 sci-fi pic “After Earth” was for Sony. “Focus” — a combination of romantic comedy and heist caper — carries a $50 million pricetag, or about a third that of “After Earth.”

Early estimates placed “Focus” in line with expectations of a respectable launch, reinforced with a $900,000 opening on Thursday night. Margot Robbie, who debuted in “Wolf of Wall Street,” co -stars as a young con artist.

After stunning audiences with a record-setting opening weekend and easily winning its second session, “Fifty Shades” is fading fast and heading for about $10 million this weekend at the U.S. box office.

“Fifty Shades” tumbled 74% last weekend to $22.3 million, so another steep decline is coming. Still, the kinky romance has been the leader in weekday grosses this week with a cume reaching nearly $137 million in just two weeks.

“Fifty Shades” has also dominated the overseas markets recently with $280 million internationally.

Relativity’s launch of “The Lazarus Effect” has been tracking to open between $12 million and $14 million at 2,666 locations, which should be good enough for second place. The micro-budget horror film, produced by Blumhouse for $3.3 million, stars Mark Duplass and Olivia Wilde as researchers who figure out a way to bring the dead back to life.

“The Lazarus Effect” grossed an estimated $350,000 from Thursday evening screenings.

The third weekend of Fox’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and the fourth weekend of “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” are pegged as edging out “Fifty Shades” for the third and fourth slots with around $11 million each.

Warner Bros.’ “American Sniper” could clear the $330 million mark this weekend. The Bradley Cooper drama has taken in $323.4 million as of Thursday, when it took in over $800,000.

“American Sniper” will eventually pass the $336 million total for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” making it the highest-grossing movie with an initial release in 2014.