While North America waits for Avengers: Age of Ultron to be released, Hollywood throws a couple of movies at audiences in the hope that they might scrape up a few dollars. Age of Adaline and Little Boy were both hoping to capture the attention of niche audiences, while the glowingly reviewed Ex Machina expanded to wider release. In the end, Furious 7 emerged victorious again, continuing its shocking and now almost ludicrous box office run.
By Kim Hollis
April 26, 2015
With a domestic total that has now climbed to $320.5 million, Furious 7 has now dominated the month of April. Although its run of consecutive weekends will end at four when Avengers 2 debuts, Furious 7 has now finished in the top spot every single weekend in the month of April. It’s the first movie since The Hunger Games in March of 2012 to finish in the top spot four weekends in a row.
Furious 7 earned $18.2 million from Friday-to-Sunday, declining just 37% from its previous frame. At this point, we’ve exhausted all superlatives to hurl upon this film, but let’s also note that Furious has now become only the third film ever to earn a billion dollars internationally, a milestone it passed this weekend. It has passed Frozen for the #5 spot on the all-time worldwide box office list, and has Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in its sights.
Second place goes to Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which held up far better than anyone probably expected. You’d think that everyone who wanted to see this movie, which is 4% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, probably would have gotten out for it last weekend, but it nonetheless wound up with $15.3 million this frame, down just 35%. The comedy has now earned $40 million, which means that the studio will be quite happy with its domestic earnings vs. budget ratio. It was a smart investment at just $30 million.
Taking advantage of a primarily female audience (75%), Age of Adaline was able to debut with a decent $13.4 million. Featuring Blake Lively, Harrison Ford and Game of Thrones’ Michiel Huisman, Adaline was rolled out to 2,991 venues and scored a $4,472 per location average. Although it is only 53% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes (39% from “Top Critics”), it hit the spot with audiences. Its Cinemascore was a strong A-. Since the film was budgeted at a modest $25 million, Lionsgate should be pleased with this debut. Most of its revenue will come from home video streams, though.
Our fourth place film is Home, a 3D animated flick that has been able to take advantage of a dearth of kids’ flicks (unless you count Paul Blart) for several weeks now. It earned $8.4 million, a decline of only 22% from last weekend. So far, Home has earned a terrific $153.8 million domestically and adds $127.3 from overseas theaters.
Fifth goes to the gimmicky horror film Unfriended, which took in $6.2 million in weekend two. That’s a weekend-to-weekend drop of 61%, a typical amount for the genre. Unfriended is yet another success story for Blumhouse Productions, as its $25.2 million domestic take is well in excess of its minuscule $1 million budget. Blumhouse is the studio that has been responsible for such horror hits as Paranormal Activity and Insidious. Although Unfriended isn’t quite on their level, it will be another feather in Blumhouse’s cap.
It was a great weekend for the newly expanded sci-fi film Ex Machina. Written and directed by Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later, Sunshine), the film expanded from 39 to 1,255 venues and earned a terrific $5.4 million. That’s a massive 581% increase from last weekend, and brings Ex Machina’s total domestic earnings to $6.9 million. The film is currently sitting at 90% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes, and as buzz continues to grow, so should its box office numbers.
Next up in seventh is The Longest Ride, the Nicholas Sparks adaptation featuring Scott Eastwood, aka Son of Clint. The schmaltzy romance fell 38% on its way to a $4.4 million weekend. Its cumulative domestic total is $30.4 million
Get Hard, the Kevin Hart/Will Ferrell comedy, is our eighth place film at the box office. It earned $3.9 million, a decline of just 21%. Although it has some negative buzz and will probably be remembered most for that, Get Hard does have a domestic total of $84.1 million, which means Warner Bros. is plenty happy with what it has achieved financially.
The final two films in the top 10 are Monkey Kingdom and Woman in Gold, which earned $3.6 million and $3.5 million respectively. Both of them held well from last weekend, as Monkey Kingdom fell 22% and Woman in Gold dropped 24%. After 10 days of release, Monkey Kingdom’s total stands at $10.3 million, while Woman in Gold has $21.6 million after 24 days.
Outside the top 10, faith-based audiences were able to sniff out the stinker that is Little Boy. With a fairly offensive premise, the wish-fulfillment film was able to earn only $2.8 million from its 1,045 venues. In a more limited release of 320 locations, the Russell Crowe-directed The Water Diviner earned $1.3 million. Both debuts were fairly mild, so we probably shouldn't expect much more from them in the coming weeks.
Before we get to the overall results, let’s go ahead and jump ahead to Avengers: Age of Ultron even though it doesn’t open in North America for another four and a half days. It debuted okay internationally, if you consider $201.2 million from 44 territories a good start. Next weekend is going to be fun.
If we look at this weekend’s overall box office compared to the same weekend in 2014, we see a decrease of 14%. Last year’s top 12 earned $103.1 million, while this frame’s top films earned $88.4 million. Obviously, we’re going to break out of the downward spiral next weekend, as Avengers: Age of Ultron is expected to open in excess of $200 million. The only question is whether it beats the record attained by the first Avengers film, $207.4 million – and by how much. John Hamann will be back next weekend to cover the news.