Friday Report: ‘Fast and Furious’ Burns Rubber

by Brandon Gray
Fast and Furious

April 4, 2009

Fast and Furious charged to the top of the box office on Friday, grossing a massive estimated $30.1 million on approximately 5,200 screens at 3,461 sites. The fourth installment in the street-racing action franchise blew past the opening days of its predecessors, generating more business in a single day than the last movie, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, did in its entire first weekend.

Back in 2001, the opening Friday of The Fast and the Furious came in at $15.2 million at 2,628 locations, and the picture crossed the weekend finish line with $40.1 million. The 2003 sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, launched with $19.7 million at 3,408 locations on its way to a $50.5 million weekend. With its blistering pace, the fourth Fast and Furious is set for a first weekend of around $70 million or more based on comparisons with past similar movies. It will handily score the all-time biggest debut for April, beating Anger Management's $42.2 million, and will have the top start among car-themed pictures, passing Cars' $60.1 million.

Monsters Vs. Aliens slipped to second place with an estimated $8.9 million on around 7,700 screens at 4,109 sites. Down 47 percent, it had a smaller second Friday drop than Ice Age: The Meltdown, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Kung Fu Panda, though it trails their grosses through the same point with $81.1 million in eight days. It's headed for a weekend in the $35 million range.

In third, The Haunting in Connecticut dove 62 percent to an estimated $3.7 million, falling about as sharply as The Messengers and more precipitously than The Amityville Horror (2005) among other haunted horrors. Its tally grew to $31.4 million in eight days.

I Love You, Man, on the other hand, had the best hold among nationwide releases. Easing 31 percent, the comedy made an estimated $2.7 million, bringing its total to $44.2 million in 15 days. It held better and has grossed more than Role Models and Forgetting Sarah Marshall among like-minded movies.

Knowing rounded out the Top Five with an estimated $2.7 million for a $52.7 million total in 15 days. The thriller was off 42 percent, which was a comparable decline to The Forgotten on its third Friday.

Debuting in sixth place, Adventureland mustered a modest estimated $2.2 million at 1,862 sites, putting it on track for a sub-$6 million based on past movies of its ilk. Expanding to 479 theaters, Sunshine Cleaning's box office growth cooled, mopping up an estimated $580,000 that points to a weekend of around $2 million.

Related Chart
Grosses for Friday, April 3

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DAILY: Monday, 7/16 (32 tracked)
WEEKEND: Weekend Actuals, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
DAILY: Friday, 'Hotel Transylvania 3' #1
WEEKLY: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp Tops the Week with $103.9m
DAILY: Thursday 7/12 (40 tracked)
DAILY: Wednesday, 7/11 (35 tracked)
DAILY: Tuesday, 7/10 (38 tracked)
New MPAA Ratings Added