Box office: ‘Focus’ tops Friday, set for $20-million opening

Margot Robbie stars as Jess and Will Smith as Nicky in Warner Bros. Pictures' heist movie "Focus."
Margot Robbie stars as Jess and Will Smith as Nicky in Warner Bros. Pictures’ heist movie “Focus.”
(Frank Masi / Warner Bros.)

“Focus” has its sights set on pushing “Fifty Shades of Grey” out of the top spot at the box office.

Warner Bros.’ sexy heist flick, starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie, took first place with an estimated $6.47 million on Friday, according to Box Office Mojo.

The R-rated crime comedy, which cost about $50 million to make, could debut with as much as $22 million in ticket sales in the United States and Canada, according to projections.

Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa -- the pair behind the smart 2011 rom-com “Crazy, Stupid Love” -- “Focus” follows crafty con man Nicky (Smith), who trains and falls for Jess (Robbie). After a long breakup, they reunite in Buenos Aires, but both are there to con the same billionaire.


If it does well, “Focus” could be a much-needed hit for Smith.

His last outing, Sony’s 2013 $135-million sci-fi spectacle “After Earth” (Smith’s son Jaden co-starred), was a critical and commercial flop, at least domestically. It did much better internationally.

Still, “Focus” could be the lowest opening for a Smith vehicle since 2008’s “Seven Pounds.” The weepy drama launched with $16 million.

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” which was No. 1 last weekend but saw a more than 70% decrease in ticket sales in its second week, continues to lose its grip on moviegoers and pulled in an estimated $3.5 million on Friday.


The weekend’s other big newcomer, “The Lazarus Effect,” also nipped at Christian Grey’s Friday haul, taking in an estimated $3.8 million.

Co-produced by Bloomhouse (“Purge”) and Mosaic, the low-budget horror flim follows a group of researchers led by Frank (Mark Duplass) and fiancee Zoe (Olivia Wilde), who discover how to bring the dead back to life.

The film, which Relativity Studios acquired for $3.3 million, is expected to bring in around $10 million, according to industry projections.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” and “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” are expected to round out the weekend’s top five films.