'Fate of the Furious' Revs Engines, Looking at $100+ Million Opening Weekend

by Brad Brevet

April 13, 2017

SATURDAY AM UPDATE: After bringing in $10.4 million in late night shows on Thursday night, Universals The Fate of the Furious brought in an estimated $46.5 million on Friday, heading toward a three-day weekend around $103.8 million.

Additionally, the film began its international run on Wednesday and has since seen the largest opening day of all-time in Argentina, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Peru, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, the films $64 million opening day in China (including $8.7 million in midnight previews) is the largest opening day of all-time, largest single day and largest Friday of all-time in the Middle Kingdom.

As for the films international Friday overall, the estimated total is $112.1 million, Universal International's highest grossing Friday of all time. This brings the film's early international total to $194.8 million with the studio anticipating a $430.4 million international opening, the largest for the studio ever, topping Jurassic World, which tallied $316.7 million. Once the dust settles, we could be looking at a $530+ million worldwide opening for the eighth film in the global franchise, a number that would serve as a record, topping the $529 million worldwide opening for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In fact, should those estimates hold, both the international and worldwide openings would serve as all-time records.

You can check out all of the Friday estimates right here and well be back tomorrow morning with a complete look at the weekend.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: Once again a new installment in the Fast and Furious franchise takes flight in April and while The Fate of the Furious isnt expected to match the nearly $150 million opening of 2015s Furious 7, it is expected to become the second $100+ million opener of 2017 as all other studios have scattered, making it the only new wide release of the week. That said, Open Road will debut their animated feature Spark: A Space Tail in just over 350 theaters while Fox already began the nationwide expansion of their drama Gifted into over 1,000 theaters on Wednesday.

Prior to Furious 7, the largest opening for a Fast and Furious film was the $97.3 million opening for Fast & Furious 6 back in May 2013. Industry expectations for this eighth installment have Fate of the Furious debuting with $100 million in 4,311 theaters. This is the widest April opening of all-time (307 more than Furious 7) and 13th widest release of all-time. So, why are expectations nearly $50 million less than the previous installment?

For starters, given the massive opening for Furious 7 and what has become something of a standard dip for sequels under such circumstances, an opening that falls short of Furious 7s isnt unexpeted. Adding to that expectation, IMDb page view data tells a similar story. Fate of the Furious is pacing well behind Furious 7 and also behind Fast & Furious 6 for that matter when looking at U.S.-based IMDb data at the same point in the release cycle. This isnt to say we believe Fate is looking at a sub-$100 million opening, but it does serve as a basis for expectation when considering our weekend forecast.

As a refresher, the December 2016 trailer launch for Fate of the Furious received a record 139+ million views in the first 24 hours as the franchise still has the interest and audience awareness to pack opening weekend theaters. Also adding context, historical averages based on theater counts, distributor, genre, MPAA rating and the films 59 score on Metacritic would have us looking at an opening around $123 million. Well be going just a bit under that figure for our forecast, anticipating an opening around $115 million, plus/minus $5 million on either side.

What well be keeping an even closer eye on is how the film plays over the course of its domestic run. Furious 7 is the only film in the franchise to gross higher than $240 million at the domestic box office and it did in a big way, hauling in $353 million, a 2.4x multiplier based on its opening. Interesting enough, the last three Fast films have all had multiples right around 2.4x, as the franchises domestic grosses continue to grow right along with the opening weekend grosses. Question is, with what is expected to be a dialed back opening weekend compared to Furious 7, can Fast 8 see a bump in multiplier or will the audience reflect the somewhat muted reviews? After a 67 rating on Metacritic for Furious 7, Fast 8s stands at 59, the lowest for the franchise since 2009s Fast and Furious.

Also of note will be the films international performance as it opens day-and-date in 63 international territories at more than 20,000 locations. Key opening weekend markets include China, the UK, Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Russia.

Elsewhere at the domestic box office, were looking for Disneys Beauty and the Beast to top $450 million domestically this weekend after becoming the first 2017 release to top $1 billion worldwide just yesterday.

Well also have an eye on Foxs release of Gifted, which added over 1,000 theaters on Wednesday of this week and is adding another 100 on Friday. From those 1,146 theaters were anticipating a weekend right around $4 million or so.

Additionally, given this is Easter weekend, Pure Flixs The Case for Christ should have a solid holdover, delivering around $3.3 million if not more for a second weekend in the top ten.

In limited release, Open Road is debuting their animated feature Spark: Space Tail in 353 theaters and Bleecker Street is releasing The Lost City of Z into four theaters.

This weekends forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday afternoon with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • The Fate of the Furious (4,311 theaters) - $115.0 M
  • The Boss Baby (3,743 theaters) - $16.9 M
  • Beauty and the Beast (3,592 theaters) - $14.4 M
  • Smurfs: The Lost Village (3,610 theaters) - $9.2 M
  • Going in Style (3,076 theaters) - $6.9 M
  • Gifted (1,146 theaters) - $4.0 M
  • Kong: Skull Island (2,018 theaters) - $3.6 M
  • Power Rangers (2,171 theaters) - $3.3 M
  • The Case for Christ (1,386 theaters) - $3.3 M
  • Ghost in the Shell (2,135 theaters) - $3.2 M

Discuss this story with fellow Box Office Mojo fans on Facebook. On Twitter, follow us at @boxofficemojo and author Brad Brevet at @bradbrevet.

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