Weekend Report: 'Furious 7' Beats 'Blart,' Passes $1.1 Billion Worldwide
by Ray Subers
April 19, 2015
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Furious 7 fended off solid newcomers Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Unfriended to top the domestic box office for the third weekend in a row.
More importantly, the movie had another stunning weekend overseas. Specifically, it continued to do massive business in China, where its earned nearly $250 million through its first eight days.
Furious 7 has now grossed $1.15 billion worldwide, which ranks seventh all-time. Even if it falls off quickly from here, it still has a real chance of making it past $1.4 billion by the end of its run.
Domestically, Furious 7 fell 51 percent to $29.2 million. In comparison, the last two Fast movies dropped 44 percent and 37 percent at the same point. To date, Furious 7 has earned $294.5 million; it could still reach $350 million, but would need to hold up well against Avengers: Age of Ultron in two weeks.
Playing at 3,633 locations, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 opened to $23.8 million this weekend. That's the second-biggest solo debut ever for Kevin James behind the original Paul Blart, which took in $31.8 million in its opening back in January 2009.
Of course, the original Paul Blart wound up earning $146.3 million total, which was over four-and-a-half times its opening weekend. It's hard to imagine that the sequel performs similarly: it has a rare zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, weak word-of-mouth ("B-" CinemaScore), and a more competitive upcoming schedule (specifically, Avengers).
A final tally around $70 million seems likely. That's a fine result considering the movie's modest budget, though earning less than half as much as its predecessor is nothing to do cartwheels over.
In third place, microbudget horror movie Unfriended opened to $15.8 million from 2,739 locations. Excluding Ouija—which is based on existing intellectual property—this is the biggest debut for an original horror movie since The Conjuring in July 2013. Considering how little Universal seemed to spend on a very targeted marketing effort, this initial result is definitely a win.
Still, the movie could fall off quickly in the coming weeks. While it has a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, word-of-mouth is poor ("C" CinemaScore), and the movie's younger audience (74 percent under 25) can be unreliable after opening weekend. Look for this to ultimately crawl to $40 million.
DreamWorks Animation's Home (2015) fell 43 percent to $10.6 million. The movie has so far earned $142.9 million, which is basically identical to The Croods through the same point (though its now earning less than The Croods on a weekly basis).
The Longest Ride rounded out the Top Five with $7 million. That's off 46 percent from opening weekend; in comparison, last year's The Best of Me dropped 54 percent in its second weekend. To date, The Longest Ride has earned $23.7 million.
Disneynature documentary Monkey Kingdom opened to $4.58 million this weekend. Despite having the widest release yet for a Disneynature movie, it wound up with the lowest debut behind last year's Bears ($4.78 million). Earth Day is on Wednesday, which could give it a bit of a boost; add in good reviews and word-of-mouth ("A-" CinemaScore) and there's a chance this eventually gets to $15 million.
Woman in Gold expanded to 2,011 locations and added $4.6 million (down just 16 percent). With $15.95 million and counting, the Helen Mirren/Ryan Reynolds drama is turning in to a solid little hit for The Weinstein Company.
True Story debuted to $1.95 million from 831 theaters this weekend. That's not a particularly good start considering the star power here (James Franco and Jonah Hill), though the movie didn't have much of a marketing push behind it. Ultimately, this should wind up in the $5 to $7 million range.
After three weeks in limited release, Noah Baumbach's While We're Young expanded nationwide to 713 locations and earned an estimated $1.58 million. It's now grossed $4.15 million, and still has a slim chance of matching Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale ($7.4 million).
Fellow A24 release Ex Machina expanded to 39 locations, where it took in an estimated $814,000. That translates to a very strong $20,872 per-theater average. The well-reviewed sci-fi movie is expected to expand nationwide next weekend.
Tom Hardy/Gary Oldman drama Child 44 opened to a terrible $621,812 from 510 theaters this weekend. Expect this movie to disappear from theaters by the time Avengers opens on May 1.
Furious 7 continued to do incredible business at the international box office this weekend. The movie added $166.9 million, which brings its total to a stunning $857.9 million.
In China, it grossed $88.7 million this weekend; through eight days, its earned $245.9 million there. Next weekend, it will likely pass Transformers: Age of Extinction ($320 million) to become the highest-grossing movie ever in the world's second-biggest market.
Meanwhile, Furious 7 opened to an estimated $6 million in Japan. That's a record for a Fast movie, and is generally speaking a very good debut for an import in this market.
Furious 7 is now guaranteed to make over $1 billion at the international box office, which would make it the third movie to reach that milestone (after Titanic and Avatar). It is about to face tough competition from Avengers: Age of Ultron, which opens in most of the world this coming weekend. However, Avengers doesn't reach China until mid-May, which means there's still plenty of money left to earn there.
Ultimately, it wouldn't be surprising if Furious 7 wound up with around $1.1 billion overseas, and around $350 million at the domestic box office. That would put it in fourth place all-time behind Avatar, Titanic and The Avengers (though it's likely that it soon moves down to fifth place behind Age of Ultron).
In a distant second place, DreamWorks Animation's Home added $10.3 million for a new international total of $127.3 million. With China and South Korea on the way, the movie still has a good chance of reaching $200 million overseas.
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• 'Furious 7' Repeats, Sets Opening Day Record in China
This Timeframe in Past Years:
• 2014 - 'Captain' Three-peats, 'Heaven' Rises Over Easter Weekend
• 2013 - Audiences Re-Enlist With 'G.I. Joe' Over Easter
• 2012 - 'Hunger Games' Three-peats, Passes $300 Million Over Easter
• 2011 - 'Rio' Edges Out 'Madea' Over Easter
• 2010 - Kraken Gets Crackin' Over Easter
• 2009 - 'Hannah Montana' Rules Easter Roost
• 2008 - 'Horton' Hatches Easter Win
• 2007 - 'Grindhouse' Dilapidated Over Easter Weekend
• 2006 - 'Scary Movie 4' Cracks Easter Record
• 2005 - 'Guess Who' Dines at Top Spot
• Weekend Box Office Results
• 2015 Domestic Box Office