Weekend Box Office (April 14 - 16, 2017)
THIS WEEKEND The heavily hyped action sequel The Fate of the Furious rocked the box office around the world pulling in over half a billion dollars globally proving fan interest is still smoking hot. The eighth installment in the 16-year-old series debuted to an estimated $100.2M in North America easily ruling the Easter weekend box office and accounting for a whopping 59% of the entire marketplace. Universal generated a sizzling $23,244 average from 4,310 locations. The studio is projecting a 29% drop on Easter Sunday which is the same as what the last film did on this holiday two years ago.
The gross was a far cry from the $147.2M Easter weekend launch of that last chapter, Furious 7 from 2015. But that film featured the late Paul Walker's last performance and was even talked about as being the conclusion to the entire franchise so there was more of an urgency to see it. Fate brought back the key cast members including Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson but also added Charlize Theron as the villain. It was the second largest opening weekend for the series edging out the $97.4M of 2013's Fast & Furious 6 which launched over the Memorial Day holiday session.
Reviews for F8 were generally positive and more than good enough for an eighth installment of an action franchise. Audiences were very happy as the PG-13 pic earned a solid A grade from CinemaScore. Studio data showed that the crowd was 58% male, 59% non-white, and split evenly between males and females. The series has always showcased diverse actors in the cast which has helped the films appeal to a broad audience. And seven of the eight films were helmed by black or Asian directors, something no major Hollywood franchise can claim.
International grosses were jaw-dropping as The Fate of the Furious opened in 63 territories and grossed a record $432.3M for the biggest international opening weekend of all-time beating the $316.7M of 2015's Jurassic World by a mile. That makes for a mammoth $532.5M global debut this weekend. If estimates hold, it will edge out the $529M of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to break that industry record as well. It is not a totally fair comparison since TFA's first weekend of worldwide release did not include China which opened a month later.
Still, Fate delivered a colossal gross around the planet this weekend with China leading all markets with a stunning $190M weekend. That's number two all-time there and tops for any Hollywood movie. Furious 7 did an astounding $391M in China so Fate is already almost halfway to reaching that amount after just three days of play. After top markets China and North America, the next largest debuts were Mexico with $17.8M, the U.K. with $17M and Russia at $14.1M.
On Good Friday, the entire Fast and Furious franchise smashed the $4 billion mark. Now at $4.4 billion through Sunday, and rapidly rising, hitting $5 billion seems within reach for this durable brand. Universal has every intention of keeping the cash rolling in. A year ago it planted flags on Easter 2019 for the ninth chapter and Easter 2021 for the tenth movie to make sure competitors stay away from its lucrative launch pad.
After two terms on top, The Boss Baby had to step down and take the runner-up spot as the toon grossed an estimated $15.5M. Off a reasonable 41%, the Fox release has collected $116.3M thus far and should be able to make it past the $150M mark. Baby is running at exactly the same pace as the last film from DreamWorks Animation, Trolls, which did $116.2M through its third weekend.
Disney's latest billion-dollar smash Beauty and the Beast ranked third over the Easter frame grossing an estimated $13.6M in its fifth round dropping 42%. The blockbuster has now climbed to $454.7M allowing it to surpass The Dark Knight Rises for the number 12 spot on the all-time domestic chart. Next weekend it will surpass Avengers: Age of Ultron. Beast has taken in $588.4M overseas and boosted its global tally to $1.04 billion. Next weekend, Belle opens in her final market of Japan with a final worldwide gross of near $1.2 billion likely.
Smurfs: The Lost Village dropped a sharp 51% in its second weekend to an estimated $6.5M and has collected just $24.7M to date for Sony. Falling 47% was fellow sophomore Going in Style with an estimated $6.4M. Warner Bros. has grossed $23.4M overall. Fox Searchlight's drama Gifted expanded nationwide and climbed up to sixth place grossing an estimated $3M from 1,146 locations for a mild $2,618 average. Earning mixed reviews, the Chris Evans pic has made $4.4M overall.
Spending its eighth weekend in the top ten was the leggy fright hit Get Out which slipped only 29% to an estimated $2.9M pushing Universal to an outstanding sum of $167.5M. The big-budget adventure Power Rangers followed with an estimated $2.9M as well, down 54%, for a new cume of $80.6M for Lionsgate.
The Easter holiday allowed The Case for Christ to post a good sophomore hold easing just 31% to an estimated $2.7M. New total is $8.4M for Pure Flix. Rounding out the top ten was the action hit Kong: Skull Island which fell 52% to an estimated $2.7M putting Warner Bros. at $161.2M domestic. China is the world's number one market on this film with a stellar $167.1M and the global tally stands at a hefty $552.3M.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $156.3M which was down 36% from last year's Easter frame when Batman v Superman opened at number one with a March record $166M; and down 28% from 2015's holiday when Furious 7 debuted in the top spot with an April record $147.2M. Those were the two biggest debuts ever over increasingly important Easter weekend with Fate ranking third now.
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Watch the NEW trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Compared to projections, The Fate of the Furious opened below my $120M forecast.
Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when Born in China, The Promise, and Unforgettable all open.
|#||Title||Apr 14 - 16||Apr 7 - 9||% Chg.||Theaters||Weeks||AVG||Cumulative||Distributor|
|1||The Fate of the Furious||$ 98,786,705||4,310||1||$ 22,920||$ 98,786,705||Universal|
|2||The Boss Baby||16,012,349||26,363,488||-39.3||3,743||3||4,278||116,793,579||Fox|
|3||Beauty and the Beast||13,705,122||23,652,605||-42.1||3,592||5||3,815||454,720,873||Disney|
|4||Smurfs: The Lost Village||6,714,300||13,210,449||-49.2||3,610||2||1,860||24,945,059||Sony|
|5||Going in Style||6,288,402||11,932,330||-47.3||3,076||2||2,044||23,318,880||Warner Bros.|
|9||The Case for Christ||2,758,271||3,967,885||-30.5||1,386||2||1,990||8,485,975||Pure Flix|
|10||Kong: Skull Island||2,707,371||5,576,182||-51.4||2,018||6||1,342||161,284,775||Warner Bros.|
|11||Ghost in the Shell||2,463,906||7,306,413||-66.3||2,135||3||1,154||37,087,189||Paramount|
|12||The Zookeeper's Wife||2,023,845||2,684,185||-24.6||1,057||3||1,915||10,626,800||Focus|
|19||The LEGO Batman Movie||376,681||373,202||0.9||344||10||1,095||173,818,349||Warner Bros.|
|Top 5||$ 141,506,878||$ 82,465,285||71.6|
|Top 20 vs. Easter 2016||166,113,753||249,226,989||-33.3|
This column is updated three times each week: Thursday (upcoming weekend's summary), Sunday (post-weekend analysis with estimates), and Monday night (actuals). Opinions expressed in this column are those solely of the author.
Last Updated: April 16, 2017 at 2:00PM ET
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