‘Spiral’ Holds The Top Spot At Home With Just Under $4.6 Million In Second Week, While ‘F9’ Burns Rubber Overseas With $162 Million Bow
Despite the scorn of critics and its modest, penny-pinching budgets, the Saw franchise has always been one of Hollywood’s stealthiest and most surprising success stories. And now, thanks to Spiral’s roughly $4.6 million sophomore frame, which was good enough to hold the top spot in North America, the series just surpassed the $1 billion mark in total global ticket sales. Still, the biggest box-office story of the weekend came from overseas, where Universal’s latest Fast and the Furious sequel, F9, raked $162 million in its fuel-injected bow, with the lion’s share of loot coming from China.

But let’s start on the domestic front, shall we? With no new major releases in the mix, Spiral, the latest R-rated Saw installment from Lionsgate (starring Chris Rock and Samuel l. Jackson) repeated at No. 1 at the domestic box office, scaring up just a hair under $4.6 million in its second weekend. Even though the R-rated film’s receipts dropped off a hefty -48% from the previous session, the film managed a $1,521 per-screen average in 2,991 theaters, bringing its two-week North American total to $15.8 million. The ninth chapter in the splatter saga which kicked off in 2004 earned an additional $6.7 million abroad, lifting its worldwide total to $22.5 million. And while those numbers may not sound all that remarkable—even in the COVID era—it was enough to nudge the critic-proof franchise past the $1 billion global milestone.

In the runner-up spot once again was Jason Statham’s Wrath of Man. The United Artists’ action-thriller added $2.9 million domestically box, which represented a -20.7% dip from the previous weekend. The R-rated film had a $975 per-screen average in 3,007 theaters. Its three-week domestic total now stands at $18.8 million. Still, Statham’s latest punch-‘em-up has proven that his brand of bareknuckle mayhem plays just as well (if not better) overseas, where the film has fared even better. To date, Wrath has accumulated $52.2 million in foreign markets, bringing the film’s combined worldwide gross to $71 million.

In third place was Angelina Jolie’s survival thriller Those Who Wish Me Dead, which continued to pull in lukewarm numbers, adding just $1.8 million in its sophomore weekend. The Warner Bros. release about a smoke-jumper (Jolie) and a teenager who are on the run from a pair of bad guys fell -35.2% from the previous frame, eking out a $543 per-screen average in 3,379 theaters. Its two-week domestic box office total is $5.5 million. The film, which is also available on the HBO Max streaming platform, has earned an additional $7.5 million abroad, bringing its worldwide tally to $13 million.

In fourth place was Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon. In its twelfth week, the PG-rated computer-animated adventure added just a little under $1.7 million domestically. Despite also being available on the Disney+ streaming platform for a $30 fee, the film shed a mere -2.3% from the previous weekend and had a $699 per-screen average in 2,375 theaters, bringing its domestic box-office total to $48.3 million. Overseas, Raya has racked up $63.3 million so far, pushing its current worldwide total to $111.6 million.

Rounding out the top five was Warner Bros.’ Godzilla vs. Kong. In its eighth week, the PG-13-rated kaiju smackdown tacked on an additional $1.4 million stateside. The big-budget battle of the behemoths slipped a negligible -5.6% from the prior weekend and managed a $562 per-screen average in 2,552 locations. Its North American box office total is now $96.9 million, which pales next to its hefty $335.4 million foreign haul. Godzilla vs. Kong now sits with a cumulative worldwide gross of $432.3 million.

Still, the most jaw-dropping numbers of the weekend came from overseas, where F9—the latest chapter in the high-octane Fast and Furious series—burned some serious rubber at the box office. While the Universal tentpole won’t hit US theaters until June 25, it opened early in eight foreign markets…and cleaned up big time. The largest contributor to the film’s bottom line, by far, was China, where the Vin Diesel hot-rod extravaganza raked in $135 million of its $162 million foreign windfall. It was, hands down, the best foreign launch for a Hollywood film since the coronavirus pandemic began. It was also the first Hollywood film to debut to more than $100 million in China since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. However, before F9 finally makes its way to American multiplexes, the first real test of the 2021 summer movie season will be waged over Memorial Day weekend, when Paramount’s A Quiet Place Part II squares off against Disney’s Cruella. Let the games begin…