Box Office: ‘Chappie’ survives to claim no. 1 with just $13.3 million

2015 has been a banner year so far for Hollywood's movie studios and theater owners.  This past weekend, however, is one they would like to forget.  

Sony Pictures and MRC's “Chappie” came in at no. 1 with an estimated $13.3 million.  That was significantly below pre-release polling which forecast as $20 million plus debut. It was also director Neill Blomkamp's worst performing debut so far and star Hugh Jackman's smallest opening since 2008's “Australia.”  “Chappie” earned mostly negative reviews with just a 40 rating on Metacritic and a 30% “fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes as well as a below average B grade on Cinemascore.  That does not bode well for the long term playability of the $49 million budgeted Sci-Fi thriller.

Last weekend's champ, Will Smith and Margot Robbie's “Focus,” dropped to second place with  another $10 million and $34.5 million in just 10 days.  The Warner Bros. release looks like it will end up somewhere around $50 million domestic.

The only good news at the box office was the performance of “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”  The sequel to 2012's surprise hit took in $8.6 million in just 1,573 theaters (comparatively, “Focus” and “Chappie” were each in over 3,200) for the largest per screen in the top 10 ($5,467).  “Second Best” will expand to even more theaters next weekend and has already grossed a stellar $21 million overseas.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” dropped only 30.1% for another $8.3 million and $98 million to date.  Matthew Vaughn's cheeky spy flick should pass the $100 million domestically sometime this week. The 20th Century Fox release has earned $248 million plus globally.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” dropped to the fifth slot with $5.6 million and $156.4 million to date.  Globally, the Universal Pictures release has made a jaw dropping $527.7 million .

This weekend's other new debut was 20th Century Fox's “Unfinished Business.” The Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco comedy did little making just $4.8 million for one of the worst studio debuts of the year.

New releases Friday include “Cinderella” and “Run All Night.”

Final box office results are released on Monday.