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Box office preview: 'Focus' and 'Fifty Shades' face off

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Frank Masi

Fifty Shades of Grey had a good two weeks on top of the box office, but that’s about to change when Focus—a film starring one-time box office king Will Smith—arrives in about 3,200 theaters this weekend.

Horror The Lazarus Effect is also hitting theaters, but it’s not likely to near Focus‘ number because of a lower profile cast and poor reviews. Here’s how it all might play out:

1. Focus — $21 million

Once upon a time, Will Smith was known for bringing in the big bucks at the box office—and then After Earth happened. The 2013 sci-fi flick opened with $27.5 million and finished its domestic run with a total of $60.5 million, considerably less than its $130 million budget. It went on to be considered a flop (except for overseas, where it found more commercial success), and Smith hasn’t starred in a film since.

Although Focus isn’t likely to re-establish Smith as a money magnet, it should make somewhere in the early $20 millions. Sure, that’s less than what After Earth made—but it’s also a healthy number compared to other films in the crime drama genre (The Wolf of Wall Street, a genre peer, debuted with $18.4 million in 2013). Its A-list stars will also help in the box office department, ensuring it’ll make at the very least somewhere in the high teens.

2. Kingsman: The Secret Service — $11 million

Kingsman continues to benefit from word-of-mouth, and will also benefit from Fifty Shades of Grey losing a big chunk of its audience this week. While it’s played second fiddle to the erotic drama since it debuted two weeks ago, Kingsman will probably occupy the number two spot this weekend and drop somewhere around 40 percent from last weekend’s $18.3 million gross.

3. Fifty Shades of Grey — $10 million

Fifty Shades dropped a lot last weekend—a lot. By 74 percent, to be exact. Although it probably won’t suffer as steep a drop this weekend, it might decrease somewhere around 55 percent as interest in the book adaptation continues to dwindle.

4. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water — $9.1 million

This family-friendly film has been the season’s PG-rated breakout, and should continue its trend of dropping around 45 percent each weekend. No new family films are opening this weekend so it doesn’t have any fresh competition, and, like Kingsman, it’s still benefiting from positive word-of-mouth.

5. The Lazarus Effect — $8 million

How much do you know about The Lazarus Effect? Probably not much: The marketing campaign for the horror film hasn’t been the most pervasive, and its cast isn’t one that appeals to mainstream America: It stars Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplass, Donald Glover, and Evan Peters—all talented actors well-known in certain circles, but none with big enough names to carry a film with reviews as poor as this one’s: It currently has a 23 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. But theaters have been lacking scary movies lately, so fans of the genre should show up to get their horror fix.