Weekend Box Office (April 10 - 12, 2015)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND The unstoppable action sequel Furious 7 easily held onto the number one spot in its second lap and also enjoyed a record launch in China putting it on course to become one of the highest-grossing global blockbusters of all-time.

In North America, the Universal smash dropped 59% to an estimated $60.6M boosting the total to an eye-popping $252.5M after just 10 days. This was the second fastest any non-summer film in history has ever broken the quarter-billion domestic mark. Only The Hunger Games: Catching Fire did it faster needing just eight days in November 2013.

Also impressive was that the decline was smaller than the 62-64% that the last three films in the Furious franchise had seen in their sophomore frames. Action sequels are built to draw their fan bases upfront and then suffer rapid deceleration on the second weekend. Most April movies would kill for a $60M first weekend so collecting this much cash on the second round is just incredible.

Early in its run, Furious 7 has already become the second highest grossing film of 2015 behind American Sniper's $347.2M which it should be able to surpass. The latest Vin Diesel flick has already become the top-grossing chapter in the franchise beating the $238.7M of the last installment, Fast & Furious 6. With the road ahead, Furious 7 may end up in the neighborhood of $375M domestically.

As amazing as the North American performance has been, Furious 7's global domination has been nothing short of spectacular. Beyond spectacular, actually. The second weekend delivered a sensational $195M from 66 territories pushing the international cume to $548 and the worldwide tally to a jaw-dropping $800.5M. Though North America is playing the 2D format, most major foreign markets have it in higher-priced 3D. In just 12 days of release around the world, the Paul Walker hit has already outgrossed most of last year's biggest global hits including Guardians of the Galaxy, Maleficent, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Interstellar.

Anchoring the overseas jackpot was a record-shattering opening day in China of $68.6M on Sunday - the biggest first day there all-time for any film whether Chinese or foreign. It more than doubled the $30M Friday opening day of Transformers: Age of Extinction from last summer which set a record at the time for biggest first-day for a Hollywood film there. That robot hit, which launched day and date with the U.S., ultimately reached over $300M from China powered by 3D and IMAX screens which Furious also has. Transformers even had Chinese locations, actors, financing, and cast/crew publicity visits to help its performance there while Furious 7's connection to the country is minimal.

Mexico and the U.K. lead all other international territories with $39-40M a piece after two weekends. Russia generated the largest four-day opening of all-time with $15M this weekend including 3D and IMAX. On Monday, Furious 7's international cume will zoom past the $550M of Furious 6 to shatter a new franchise record. Developing an eighth installment must be a priority for Universal, regardless of the changes in cast and crew.

With China just getting started and Japan still to open this Friday, look for the high-octane seven-quel to bust through the billion-dollar barrier next weekend. In fact, Furious 7 is now on a trajectory to reach about $1.5 billion making it the fourth largest global blockbuster of all-time behind just Avatar, Titanic, and The Avengers. It even has a shot at surpassing that Marvel assembly of super heroes, although the sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron launches overseas in T minus ten days and will have something to say about reaching that same box office stratosphere. Add in this year's new Star Wars, Hunger Games, Jurassic Park, Pixar, and James Bond films and 2015 is setting its sights on obliterating all-time industry records.

The DreamWorks Animation hit Home also stayed put ranking second again in its third round. Fox's family release grossed an estimated $19M, down just 30% from the Easter frame, for a robust new cume of $129.6M. Compared to other recent toons opening on the week before the bunny holiday, Home is running 3% ahead of 2013's The Croods and 34% ahead of last year's Rio 2. A final in the $180M range seems likely with plenty more from overseas markets.

The latest Nicholas Sparks romance The Longest Ride ended up opening in third place with mediocre results taking in an estimated $13.5M from 3,366 locations for a mild $4,011 average. Attracting lackluster reviews just like many past films based on this author's best-selling books, Fox's PG-13 pic lacked starpower with Scott Eastwood and Brittany Robertson in the lead. It did, however, open better than the last Sparks pic The Best of Me which bowed to just $10M last October.

Funnymen Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart followed with their R-rated comedy Get Hard which slipped 34% in its third weekend to an estimated $8.6M. The Warner Bros. title has banked $71.2M to date and looks headed for $90M+, a great result for this genre.

Fairy tale smash Cinderella slipped only 29% to an estimated $7.2M boosting the Disney cume to $180.8M after its fifth frame. Worldwide, the glass slipper saga has grossed a stellar $436.8M led by China's $69.8M with Disney-loving Japan set to open in two weeks. Last summer's Maleficent saw its top foreign grosses come from China, Mexico, and Japan. Reaching $200M domestic and over $525M global is possible for the princess.

The Divergent Series: Insurgent fell 32% to an estimated $6.9M pushing Lionsgate to $114.8M in North America with the global total topping $250M. Domestically, it is running 8% behind last spring's Divergent. The Helen Mirren film Woman in Gold expanded and grossed an estimated $5.9M from 1,504 locations for a $3,891 average. The Weinstein Co. has collected $9.3M so far.

Expanding indie films followed. The low-budget horror pic It Follows added screens again and scared up an estimated $2M in its third wide frame giving Radius $11.8M. Al Pacino's Danny Collins went national and joined the top ten with an estimated $1.6M and mild $2,169 average. Cume is $2.5M for Bleecker Street. A24's While We're Young added locations too and rounded out the top ten with an estimated $1.4M raising the sum to $2.4M.

Specialty distributor A24 has nurtured several platform hits recently and its latest came in the form of sci-fi drama Ex Machina which bowed to $250,000 from just four sites in New York and Los Angeles for a powerful $62,500 average. Reviews have been great and buzz out of South by Southwest helped fuel interest with genre fans. The R-rated pic goes nationwide next weekend where it will try to stay buzzworthy with a much broader audience.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $126.7M which was down 3% from last year when Captain America: The Winter Soldier remained at number one with $41.3M; but up 21% from 2013 when 42 debuted in the top spot with $27.5M.

Compared to projections, Furious 7 fared better than my $55M forecast and The Longest Ride debuted ahead of my $12M prediction.

Get earlier box office updates and analysis by following BoxOfficeGuru.com on Twitter.

Watch the trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road.

Be sure to check back on Monday for final figures and again on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Unfriended, Child 44, and Monkey Kingdom all open.

# Title Apr 10 - 12 Apr 3 - 5 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Furious 7 $ 59,585,930 $ 147,187,040 -59.5 4,022 2 $ 14,815 $ 251,516,400 Universal
2 Home 18,532,280 27,011,303 -31.4 3,703 3 5,005 129,085,777 Fox
3 The Longest Ride 13,019,686 3,366 1 3,868 13,019,686 Fox
4 Get Hard 8,218,246 13,128,219 -37.4 3,132 3 2,624 70,783,826 Warner Bros.
5 Cinderella 7,137,814 10,178,750 -29.9 3,025 5 2,360 180,686,540 Disney
6 The Divergent Series: Insurgent 6,710,498 10,126,715 -33.7 3,118 4 2,152 114,708,645 Lionsgate
7 Woman in Gold 5,483,125 2,091,551 162.2 1,504 2 3,646 8,934,023 Weinstein Co.
8 It Follows 1,943,868 2,513,459 -22.7 1,633 5 1,190 11,715,129 Radius
9 Danny Collins 1,483,138 347,815 326.4 739 4 2,007 2,375,703 Bleecker St.
10 Kingsman: The Secret Service 1,308,312 1,808,652 -27.7 1,013 9 1,292 124,521,609 Fox
11 While We're Young 1,212,033 483,688 150.6 246 3 4,927 2,190,064 A24
12 Do You Believe? 931,305 1,544,423 -39.7 1,042 4 894 11,511,905 Pure Flix
13 Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 636,318 1,079,747 -41.1 741 6 859 31,459,822 Fox Searchlight
14 American Sniper 595,041 628,060 -5.3 616 16 966 347,211,278 Warner Bros.
15 McFarland, USA 421,414 618,631 -31.9 518 8 814 42,605,917 Disney
16 Focus 300,316 448,150 -33.0 424 7 708 53,344,851 Warner Bros.
17 Run All Night 300,016 635,146 -52.8 422 5 711 25,916,827 Warner Bros.
18 Ex Machina 237,264 4 1 59,316 237,264 A24
19 The SpongeBob Movie 230,460 253,506 -9.1 308 10 748 161,305,500 Paramount
20 Chappie 198,202 235,607 -15.9 280 6 708 31,121,710 Sony
Top 5 $ 106,493,956 $ 207,632,027 -48.7
Top 10 123,422,897 216,669,859 -43.0
Top 20 128,485,266 221,054,576 -41.9
Top 20 vs. 2014 128,485,266 136,342,933 -5.8

Last Updated: April 12, 2015 at 3:35PM ET

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