Furious 7 Shortens The Longest Ride
By John Hamann
April 12, 2015
After a $147 million opening weekend, making it one of the top nine openers of all time, what could Furious 7 do to keep the momentum up? How about hold better than most of the other top nine top openers, and make another spring weekend look like summer.
What a ten day stretch it’s been for Furious 7 and Universal Films. The estimate last Sunday was $143.6 million, but it came in at $147.2 million once actual receipts were counted. This means it trended nicely over opening weekend and was less front-loaded than originally thought. It had the eighth biggest first week at $191.9 million and crossed the $200 million mark on Friday, its eighth day of release. Furious 7 is ready to roll through the month of April, as competition throughout the month is much like this weekend – not much.
The biggest opener this weekend is The Longest Ride, another of these tired Nicolas Sparks’ adaptions that have been reduced to being seen only by women, as men have seen these films before and now have brains. Smaller debuts include the widening of films like Woman in Gold, Danny Collins and While We’re Young, three films that likely wouldn’t appear in the top ten had the list not been so top loaded with Furious 7.
Number one is obviously Furious 7. The only question this weekend was about its hold compared to the last frame. Box office analysts wondered whether it would crumble in weekend two or if the A Cinemascore and the mountains of press regarding the opening weekend would keep it rolling. Given the massive size of the opening, the season, and the fact that last weekend was a long weekend, a drop below 50% was going to be virtually impossible. Universal would be looking for a Spider-Man 3 type drop of 62% or a Furious 6 type drop of 64%. Furious 7’s second Friday came in at $18.8 million, 72% down from its debut day. However, that $67.4 million opening day had $15.8 million from Thursday previews, so it was actually down 63.5% from last Friday’s "true" gross of $51.6 million, which is much more reasonable.
The second weekend gross for Furious 7 came in a healthy $60.6 million, off a decent 59% compared to that massive opening weekend. This drop is slightly better than other top ten biggest openers of all time like Spider-Man 3, which opened to $151 million and fell 62% in its second frame; the first Hunger Games, which opened to $152.5 million and fell 62%; and The Dark Knight Rises, which debuted with $161 million and dipped 61%. Keeping up with Disney/Marvel titles proved tougher, as The Avengers fell only 50% after opening to $207 million, but it was close to Iron Man 3, which dropped 58% after debuting to $174.1 million. Furious 7 crossed the $250 million mark on Sunday, its 10th day. That is the eighth fastest to $250 million of all time and the fastest for any film that didn’t open in summer or at Thanksgiving.