FEBRUARY 23 UPDATE: Fifty Shades Of Grey dropped 74% in its second session as a confirmed $22.3m was still enough to stay top through Universal and Focus Features.

The S&M romance has reached $129.2m after two sessions and appears to have done the bulk of its North American business.

That said, it should have enough left in the tank to overtake the $152.6m achieved by Sex And The City in 2008. Sex And The City 2 finished on $95.3m in 2010.

Three arrivals delivered lacklustre results. Buena Vista’s sports drama McFarland, USA starring Kevin Costner opened at number four on a so-so $11m from 2,755 venues.

CBS Films’ comedy The DUFF, the first film to be released via Lionsgate under the partners’ distribution deal, opened at number five on a fair $10.8m from 2,575 theatres. A spokesperson for CBS Films said the result was higher than expected and added that executives were “very happy”.

Paramount debuted Hot Tub Time Machine 2 in seventh place on $5.9m. John Cusack did not reprise his role in the comedy, although the returning cast includes Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke.

The debut was approximately 58% below the original, which opened at number three on $14m on March 26 2010. The gap rises to roughly 62% when the original’s opening weekend is adjusted for inflation to $15.2m.

Clint Eastwood’s phenomenon and Oscar nominee American Sniper starring Bradley Cooper ranks sixth on $320m after nine weekends. Warner Bros’ $176m-plus stablemate Jupiter Ascending does not have so much to crow about and ranks eighth on a dismal $39.6m after three sessions.

Rounding out the top 10 is Oscar contender The Imitation Game in ninth place on $83.9m via TWC and Paddington, StudioCanal’s $200m-plus global smash that TWC-Dimension distributes in North America and has soared to $67.8m.

Argentina’s foreign language Oscar nominee Wild Tales from Damian Szifron opened via SPC on $85,100 in four venues for a strong $21,275 per-site average. Eros opened Badlapur on $227,759 from 82 venues.

Overall box office for the top 12 tumbled 46.5% against last weekend in a predictably hard fall given the historically slow nature of Oscar weekend and the scale of last weekend’s Fifty Shades Of Grey launch.

The weekend gained roughly 8% on the same session in 2014, when The LEGO Movie consolidated its grip at the top of the charts with a $31.3m hold in the third weekend.

The 2014 Oscar ceremony took place on March 2. 

This week’s wide releases are: the Warner Bros comedy Focus starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie; and Relativity’s horror film The Lazarus Effect.

Confirmed top 10 North America Feb 20-22 2015
Film (Dist) / Est wkd gross / Est total to date

1 (1) Fifty Shades Of Grey (Universal-Focus) UPI $22.3m $129.2m

2 (2) Kingsman: The Secret Service (Fox) Fox International $18.3m $67.9m

3 (3) The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water (Paramount) PPI $16.6m $126.2m

4 (-) McFarland, USA (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $11m –

5 (-) The DUFF (CBS/Lionsgate) Lionsgate International $10.8m –

6 (4) American Sniper (Warner Bros) WBPI $10.1m $320m

7 (-) Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (Paramount) PPI $5.9m –

8 (5) Jupiter Ascending (Warner Bros) WBPI $3.8m $39.7m

9 (8) The Imitation Game (TWC) FilmNation $2.5m $83.9m

10 (7) Paddington (TWC-Dimension) StudioCanal $2.4m $67.8m