Paul Blart Unfriended by Furious 7
By John Hamann
April 19, 2015
Dumb comedy, tech-savvy horror, genius limited release sci-fi, nature documentary, Russian serial killer thriller and fact-based drama – there was something for everyone at theaters this weekend, but no matter what you threw at the screen, there was no stopping Furious 7.
Considering that the biggest release of the year (or possibly decade) opens in two weekends, there was certainly a number of new releases and venue movement at the box office this weekend. New films include Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, a bad, unfunny movie with a bad title (how about Blart 2: Mall Warrior); Unfriended, the dirt cheap horror flick from Jason Blum that was likely earning a profit by Friday afternoon; Monkey Kingdom, another one of those Disneynature docs, although this time with Tina Fey narrating; True Story, the real life drama with Jonah Hill and James Franco; Child 44, the new Russian kidnapping drama with soon-to-be Mad Max Tom Hardy; the further expansion of Woman in Gold with Helen Mirren; and a small expansion of Ex-Machina, the new sci-fi flick from Alex Garfield. Despite all this movement two weekends before Avengers 2 hits, it’s the April blockbuster Furious 7 that dominates again for the third straight weekend.
Furious 7’s weekend box office is a little anti-climactic this weekend, as the Universal blockbuster hit the $1 billion worldwide mark on Friday, putting it in the top 20 worldwide films of all time and the top 12 foreign grosses of all-time after only two weeks of release. Furious 7 becomes Universal’s first release to reach $1 billion, and it did it in a matter of days. Domestically, it continues to be number one at the box office, pushing aside all comers as it repeats for the third straight frame. On Friday, Furious 7 pulled in another $8.3 million, but was down 56% from the previous Friday, as audience saturation became a bigger factor for this release.
Over the weekend proper, Furious 7 pulled in another $29.1 million, off 51% compared to last weekend’s haul of $59.6 million. Again, Universal is running out of people to show this to, and with a domestic tally so far of $294.4 million, I don’t think they are worrying about weekend-to-weekend declines. Furious 7 should cross the$300 million mark on Thursday, its 21st day of release. Despite its size, the domestic total for Furious 7 is going to be relatively puny compared to the worldwide take. On its opening day in China, Furious 7 took in $63 million, easily setting a record.
The question now is where Furious 7 finishes. It looks like Furious 7 will pick up at least another $75 million or so domestically before all is said and done; however, that $75 million is a bit of a crazy guess as the effect of Avengers 2 on Furious 7 will be very interesting. That would bring its total up to the $375-$400 million area, putting it into the top 25 domestic earners ever. The worldwide total is much harder to nail down, given that it earned its billion so quickly. It needs another $121 million worldwide to join the top five worldwide films ever, and another $366 million to match the original Avengers. Ironically, just as it reaches the top tiers worldwide, it will drop a spot thanks to the impending juggernaut that is the Age of Ultron. Furious 7 is huge, but it will look relatively small in 10 days.