Weekend Box Office (April 17 - 19, 2015)

by Gitesh Pandya

THIS WEEKEND It was threepeat time for the action juggernaut Furious 7 which came into the weekend smashing the $1 billion global mark and still ruling multiplexes worldwide. Gravity-defying in terms of both stunts and box office, the Vin Diesel-Paul Walker pic grossed $29.2M domestically, according to final studio figures, falling by an understandable 51% in its third round and vaulted its cume to a staggering $294.5M. Universal should find its way to $350M or more from North America.

Overseas is where Furious 7 is truly demolishing records. This weekend saw an eye-popping $166.9M of sales including $88.7M from its first full weekend in China. The international total soared to $857.9M putting the worldwide haul at an unbelievable $1.15 billion with much more to go. It is the highest-grossing film in the studio's history. China has reached a stunning $245.9M in only eight days of play and is on course to beat Transformers: Age of Extinction by next weekend to become the top-grossing American film ever in that market.

Furious 7 now sits at number 7 on the list of all-time global blockbusters and will quickly speed past Iron Man 3, Frozen, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and The Avengers to rank third behind just Avatar and Titanic. This was never expected to be possible showing once again how unpredictable moviegoing can be. The only challenger Furious 7 will face in the weeks ahead will be the much-anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron which begins opening in many international markets this Wednesday hoping to eventually reach or exceed the heights of its 2012 predecessor. The Marvel super heroes do not invade China until May 12 so the speed racers still have a clear road ahead there for three full weeks.

Sony scored a nice hit with its comedy sequel Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 which opened to $23.8M coming in ahead of expectations. It was below the $31.8M of its 2009 predecessor, however star Kevin James has not been much of a box office anchor since then on his own. The PG-rated sequel was slammed by critics, as expected, but averaged a good $6,541 from paying audiences in 3,633 locations. The CinemaScore grade was a lackluster B- so the road ahead may be a little shaky. But with a $30M budget, Blart 2 should end up with a nice run regardless of how international results turn out.

Horror hitman Jason Blum enjoyed yet another scary moneymaker with the online terror flick Unfriended which debuted in third with $15.8M for the best fright opening of this year so far. The R-rated chiller averaged a solid $5,785 from 2,739 locations and played mostly to older teens and young adults. Studio data showed that the audience was 74% under 25, 60% female, and 68% non-white. Savvy marketing and a relevant topic helped the micro-budgeted $1M production excite its target audience. Blum has more screams in store with this summer's sequels Insidious: Chapter 3 in June and Sinister 2 in August.

The animated hit Home dropped 43% in its fourth weekend to $10.6M raising its cume to a robust $142.9M putting it dead even with The Croods from two years ago at the same point in its spring run. That other DreamWorks Animation pic ended up with $187.2M domestic and $587M worldwide, areas that Home may end up at as well.

The romance The Longest Ride fell 46% in its second weekend to $7M for Fox putting the cume at $23.7M on its way to $35-40M. The Warner Bros. comedy Get Hard followed with $4.9M, down 40%, for a new total of $78.4M.

Disney's annual nature documentary timed to Earth Day landed in eighth place. Monkey Kingdom opened to $4.6M from 2,012 locations for a weak $2,275 average. That was almost equal to the $4.8M bow of the studio's Bears from this weekend last year. A portion of the proceeds for these films are donated to conservation charities.

A hair above was Helen Mirren's Woman in Gold with $4.6M as well, off just 16%, for a new sum of $16M for The Weinstein Co. which could be headed for the $30M range. Insurgent dropped 39% to $4.1M putting Lionsgate at $120.6M (10% behind Divergent's pace) and $262M globally. Disney's Cinderella rounded out the top ten with $4M, off 44%, for a new total of $186.5M. The fairy tale hit stands at $458M worldwide.

Two new films debuted in moderate national release and posted weak results finishing outside the top ten. The James Franco-Jonah Hill drama True Story bowed to $2M from 831 locations for only $2,347 per site for Fox Searchlight. Tom Hardy's Cold War thriller Child 44 fared worse with a $621,812 opening weekend from 510 playdates for a dismal $1,219 average for Lionsgate. Neither was well-liked by film critics.

The sci-fi drama Ex Machina expanded well in its second weekend from four to 39 theaters across several top markets and grossed $798,661 for a solid $20,478 average. A24 takes it nationwide next weekend hoping to sustain the buzz created in the bigger cities. Cume to date is $1.1M.

The top ten films grossed $108.6M which was down 7% from last year when Captain America: The Winter Soldier remained at number one for a third time with $25.6M; but up 13% from 2013 when Oblivion debuted in the top spot with $37.1M.

Compared to projections, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 came in above my forecast of $19M. Unfriended and Monkey Kingdom both opened close to my respective predictions of $14M and $6M.

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Watch the NEW trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Be sure to check back on Thursday for a complete summary, including projections, for next weekend when The Age of Adaline and Little Boy open.

# Title Apr 17 - 19 Apr 10 - 12 % Chg. Theaters Weeks AVG Cumulative Distributor
1 Furious 7 $ 29,156,595 $ 59,585,930 -51.1 3,964 3 $ 7,355 $ 294,510,675 Universal
2 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 23,762,435 3,633 1 6,541 23,762,435 Sony
3 Unfriended 15,845,115 2,739 1 5,785 15,845,115 Universal
4 Home 10,608,947 18,532,280 -42.8 3,488 4 3,042 142,917,827 Fox
5 The Longest Ride 7,020,782 13,019,686 -46.1 3,371 2 2,083 23,681,298 Fox
6 Get Hard 4,944,381 8,218,246 -39.8 2,655 4 1,862 78,393,149 Warner Bros.
7 Woman in Gold 4,596,287 5,483,125 -16.2 2,011 3 2,286 15,951,799 Weinstein Co.
8 Monkey Kingdom 4,577,861 2,012 1 2,275 4,577,861 Disney
9 The Divergent Series: Insurgent 4,096,952 6,710,498 -38.9 2,542 5 1,612 120,552,425 Lionsgate
10 Cinderella 4,025,469 7,137,814 -43.6 2,414 6 1,668 186,478,482 Disney
11 True Story 1,950,214 831 1 2,347 1,950,214 Fox Searchlight
12 While We're Young 1,438,384 1,212,033 18.7 713 4 2,017 4,006,203 A24
13 Danny Collins 893,551 1,483,138 -39.8 648 5 1,379 3,881,050 Bleecker St.
14 It Follows 820,187 1,943,868 -57.8 941 6 872 13,283,872 Radius
15 Ex Machina 798,661 237,264 236.6 39 2 20,478 1,126,277 A24
16 Kingsman: The Secret Service 678,874 1,308,312 -48.1 556 10 1,221 125,659,122 Fox
17 Child 44 621,812 510 1 1,219 621,812 Lionsgate
18 American Sniper 379,718 595,041 -36.2 445 17 853 347,762,901 Warner Bros.
19 Do You Believe? 368,013 931,305 -60.5 449 5 820 12,227,429 Pure Flix
20 The SpongeBob Movie 357,715 230,460 55.2 328 11 1,091 161,709,302 Paramount
Top 5 $ 86,393,874 $ 106,493,956 -18.9
Top 10 108,634,824 123,422,897 -12.0
Top 20 116,941,953 128,485,266 -9.0
Top 20 vs. 2014 116,941,953 129,156,784 -9.5

Last Updated: April 21, 2015 at 4:00PM ET

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