Furious 8 Cleans Up Over Very Slow Weekend
By John Hamann
April 23, 2017
Did anyone think the completely forgettable Unforgettable was going to take down The Fate of the Furious? If you did, go find another website. Now. I mean it.
This weekend's first place positioning of The Fate of the Furious was preordained long ago, despite five pieces of junk being hauled out of a large garbage truck and dumped into theaters. Actually, there were two well-made films in release this weekend, at least according to critics. Thumbs up were given to the latest Disneynature film, Born in China, and Brie Larson's latest Free Fire, which narrowly stayed fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. Another opener, The Promise, came in as Rotten, but the Cinemascore was an A-, showing that divide between audiences and critics. The other two openers, Unforgettable and Phoenix Forgotten, were negatively received by both audiences and critics. Lastly, The Lost City of Z expanded from four theaters last weekend to 614 this weekend, making for lots of activity - at least for the folks that book films into theaters.
Openers were ignored this weekend, so The Fate of the Furious had pretty much the entire playground to itself, considering the number two and three films had been out for four and six weekends respectively. One might think that with the rest of the darkness surrounding the box office, Furious 8 would perform admirably in its second weekend, but it had a rough one as well, but it got set up somewhat by opening on Easter weekend. The Friday-to-Friday drop for the eight-quel came in at a massive 76% drop compared to opening day and Thursday preview, earning $11.1 million on its second Friday. Furious 7 was off 72%, but was dealing with higher numbers. The better comparison is Furious 6, which fell 72% from first Friday to second, but opened on Memorial Day weekend in late May, which skewed the numbers. So all in all, Fate of the Furious saw a big drop, but it was in line with the previous films for the most part, at least on Friday.
Fate's Saturday number came in at $17.15 million, giving it a Saturday-to-Saturday drop of 46%, improving on the Friday. Furious 7 dropped a similar 45% but earned a much larger $25.5 million. The bigger the numbers, the tougher the hold, so while Furious 8 was keeping percentages similar, it was a loaded fight, just tougher to see the real battle. Furious 6 opened on May 24th 2013 - because of Memorial Day, more people had time for movies, so the follow-up weekend saw drastic drops. The Saturday-to-Saturday drop for the sixth film was an extreme 56%, as Furious 6 headed toward a 64% drop from weekend-to-weekend. That remains the worst of the series to date, as even Tokyo Drift was less at 59%.
In the end, Furious 8 fell a not too extreme 61%, the second highest of the series, but it also holds the second best opening frame. Furious 7 fell 59.5%, and as mentioned Furious 6 fell 64%, which remains the high point for the series. Furious 8 earned $38.7 million over three days, where Furious 6 picked up $35.2 million. Furious 7 remains the king of the second weekend, as it earned just short of $60 million over its second weekend. The domestic total has now reached a large $163.6 million since opening. Furious 7 had taken in a massive $251.5 million over the same amount of time, which is truly mind-boggling.