Unless you have been living under a rock or are unfamiliar with the Fast & Furious franchise where here’s some cold hard facts. Furious 7 is a mega hit. Seventeen days into its release it hit $1 billion. Read that again. 17 days to reach $1 billion. That made it the fastest (no pun intended) film to reach that milestone. It took both The Avengers and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2 19 days to reach $1 billion.
Overseas performance has been such a key component for blockbusters so it is hard to overlook the movie’s phenomenal performance in China, where it made $250 million in its first five days in the territory. With an estimated $1.15 billion worldwide the seventh installment in the F&F franchise is currently the seventh highest grossing film of all time. Not only that, but it is the first film in Universal Studios’ 103-year history to make it to a billion worldwide. That’s right. Box Office Mojo has Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park with a little more than $1 billion, but that was on account of re-releases including a 3D version with added surcharges. In terms to theatrical performance, 2013’s Despicable Me 2 came close to ten figures with $970 million worldwide.
This is uncharted territory. There’s never been a seventh entry in a franchise to be the highest grossing effort. That may all change this December with the arrival of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The series, which has gone from being about street racing to become one of the most dominant action franchises on the planet, and one of the few with a multi-ethnic cast, has now grossed $3.53 globally. A sequel is all but guaranteed, even with Paul Walker’s passing in 2014.
Furious 7 won the weekend with $29 million as its weekend performance seems to be cut in half from the preceding weekend (last weekend its three-day total was $59 million). The $29 million was $5 million better than second-place finisher Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 ($24 million), a sequel to a property that originally came out in January 2009 (the same month as Liam Neeson’s Taken). The comedy was not screened for critics, typically a bad sign that the studio has no faith in its performance. From the 38 critics whose reviews are present on RT, the Sony release has an aggregate score of 0%. Zero! Tyler Perry movies aren’t screened for press and they consistently get better scores. Sorry Kevin James. It appears your 15 minutes are up.
Other movies that cracked the top ten include Universal’s horror release Unfriended ($16 million) and Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom ($4.7 million), which is about on par with last year’s Bears. But the documentary opened at more than 2000 locations, the largest Disneynature opening thus far. But with strong reviews (including a 93% aggregate score on RT), it may get more attention and finish on par with previous entries with at least $15 million.
Just outside the top ten in spot #11 was Fox Searchlight’s True Story starring Jonah Hill and James Franco. The mixed critical reception left much to be desired with audiences as the drama opened on 831 screens and finished with $1.93 million (which equates to a low $2,323 per-screen average).
Compare True Story‘s performance with A24’s excellent science fiction film Ex Machina. Last weekend, it had the best per screen average and it continued strong in week two, winning the per screen average race again with $20,872 from 39 screens. It looks like the studio has learned from past mistakes of expanding too wide too early and may have sleeper hit on its hands. Lionsgate’s Child 44 starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Gary Oldman flopped in limited release, grossing only $600k from 510 screens, for a low $1,176 PSA.
For those curious about the performance of Radius-TWC’s horror property It Follows, the little indie cut its theater count to 941 for its sixth weekend and dropped from eighth place to 15th with $803k. It has now made $13.2 million.
The forthcoming weekend is a peculiar one as the releases include Lionsgate’s The Age of Adaline, Open Road’s Little Boy and Russell Crowe’s directorial debut The Water Diviner. This is a stop gap weekend before the start of the summer season with the release of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Knowing that, look for Furious 7 to repeat once again in the top spot for the fourth weekend in a row.
Full top ten below.
01. Furious 7 — $29,056,000 ($294,410,000)
02. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 — $24,000,000
03. Unfriended — $16,023,000
04. Home — $10,300,000 ($142,609,000)
05. The Longest Ride – $6,850,000 ($23,511,000)
06. Get Hard — $4,830,000 ($78,279,000)
07. Monkey Kingdom — $4,715,000
08. Woman in Gold — $4,587,000 ($15,943,000)
09. The Divergent Series: Insurgent — $4,150,000 ($120,605,000)
10. Cinderella — $3,871,000 ($186,324,00)
Tags: box office, Ex Machina, Furious 7, It Follows, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Unfriended