Weekend Box Office: ‘Furious’ Slows Quickly, But New Releases Are No Match

The Fate Of The Furious has dropped 63% in week two, a bit harder than I predicted (given the total lack of competition) but it’s not out of character for the franchise. It will easily pass 200M, but with the upcoming summer releases, I’m going to bet that 300M is out of reach. Still, if it passes the grosses of Fast and Furious 6, it’ll be the second highest grossing film in the franchise, and it only needs 238M to do that. It needs to absorb as much box office as it can before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 opens, as that film is currently tracking for a massive 150M opening.

Every single new release underperformed on some level. The most disappointing entry was Free Fire, which absolutely died at the box office. Had I been paying attention to its screen count, I would have never projected 6M on 1,000 screens. That’s just batty. I thought it was going in at least 2000 screens, so I probably would have had a projection more like 3M, and I still would have been wrong. Free Fire is walking away with 900K this weekend, losing to even Phoenix Forgotten, and falling way outside the top 10. Despite having a recognizable cast, including Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer, and Sharlto Copley, none of them are bankable enough to open a film. To be fair, this film had an odd promotion cycle, and didn’t really use its stars. Cinemascore didn’t even bother with this film, however it does have a 66% on Rotten Tomatoes (only Born In China is higher) and a 7.2 on IMDB. So it’s not that people hate this movie, they just don’t care enough to go see it in theatres.

The Blair Witch style Phoenix Forgotten will be quickly… forgotten. It’s looking at a 1.7M weekend off 1500 screens. So, it’s performing about the same as Free Fire, just on 500 more screens. Phoenix Forgotten has an awful C- cinemascore, and a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. It has a rumored budget of 3M, so it didn’t really flop, but after everything (foreign and home video) is said and done, it’s likely to just break even after the marketing is added in.

That brings us to The Promise, which started out hopeful with stars like the Kardashians drawing awareness to the film. Still, the Armenian drama starring Oscar Issac wasn’t something mass audiences wanted to see, and The Promise is going to die out at 4M this weekend. Mixed reviews might have had a factor as the film has a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences might give it some word of mouth with an A- cinemascore, but when a film opens in 9th place, that word of mouth is essentially pointless.

The Katherine Heigl/Rosario Dawson film Unforgettable tanked, which is a good sign that even mass audiences know when they’re being fed crap. Unforgettable has a 25% RT score, and audiences agreed giving it a C cinemascore. With three new films opening next weekend, its entirely possible Unforgettable has only one weekend in the top 10 as it opens in 6th place.

Born In China actually was the top opener, despite not being the top Disneynature opener. With an opening weekend of 5M, Born In China’s opening is better than Monkey Kingdom or Bears, but nowhere near the 10.6M opening for Chimpanzee. It did receive an A- cinemascore and an 81% on RT, so with no new kids films next weekend, it might have solid legs. It’s the only bright spot among five new releases, even if it is a dim one.

As far as my projections went, I was obviously correct that Fate would stay at #1, but I was projecting 45M against the 38M it actually made. I correctly also had The Boss Baby at #2, and was pretty close with an 11M projection. I had Beauty and the Beast in 3rd, and was only off by 1M. I had Born In China in 7th, instead of 4th, but was only off by 1M. I had Going In Style in 6th instead of 5th, only off by 1M. I was off with Unforgettable, which I projected at 7M in 4th, and instead it’s about 2M below in 6th. I did not see that Gifted was doing another expansion, so I thought it would drop instead of hold. Smurfs held better than I expected, though I did have it in 8th. I had The Promise in 9th, though it is making 1M more than I projected. I also did have The Lost City of Z at 2M in contention for 10th place against Get Out, and it looks like it beat Get Out.

The lesson I learned this week with Gifted and Free Fire is to pay more attention to screen counts. However, I do my projections on Wednesday, and final screen counts typically aren’t released until Thursday… so…

Here are the current projections for the weekend:
1) The Fate Of The Furious- 38M Weekend, 163M Total
2) The Boss Baby- 13M Weekend, 137M Total
3) Beauty and the Beast- 10M Weekend, 471M Total
4) Born In China- 5M Weekend, 5M Total
5) Going In Style- 5M Weekend, 31.7M Total
6) Unforgettable- 4.7M Weekend, 4.7M Total
7) Gifted- 4.7M Weekend, 10.9M Total
8) Smurfs: The Lost Village- 4.7M Weekend, 33M Total
9) The Promise- 4M Weekend, 4M Total
10) The Lost City of Z- 2.2M Weekend, 2.3M Total

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