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Weekend Wrap-Up

Furious 8 Cleans Up Over Very Slow Weekend

By John Hamann

April 23, 2017

Scott Eastwood is the most out of place looking person ever.

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Unforgettable, a film that really didn't live up to its title, turned and flopped with the rest of the openers. The WB film earned only $4.8 million from a light 2,417 screens. Critics hated it, giving it a rotten rating of 25%. The Cinemascore was a complete disaster as well, as Unforgettable earned a C rating, one of the lower Cinemascores in memory for this genre. Personally, I am happy to see Katherine Heigl take another career hit, but this time she takes Rosario Dawson down with her, as well as Denise DiNovi, long time producer and first time director. DiNovi's fourth film was Heathers, and her sixth film was Edward Scissorhands, so she has a warm place in my heart.

Eighth, then, is Gifted, which expanded this weekend from 1,146 to 1,986 venues and saw its bounty returned. After earning $3.1 million against Furious 8, its weekend tally rose to $4.5 million this weekend, and the 46% uptick in business was just the news the studio was looking for. Gifted cost $7 million to make, and now has earned $10.7 million domestically. The fact Gifted beat three new films and a large expander this weekend by adding 840 screens (and missed Unforgettable by $300,000), simply boggles the mind. At first I thought Fox Searchlight had screwed themselves opening against Furious 8, but it's the opposite - likely in-theatre marketing pushed audiences back to watch it. Another important driver here is that the family films near the top also brought in a combined $30 million last weekend and have been setting the stage for a film like this one for the last month and a half.

Ninth is The Promise, the film that probably had the most going for it. It starred Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac, whose last two films were Star Wars: The Force Awakens and X-Men Apocalypse, which earned about $2.7 billion worldwide combined. The Promise found nowhere near that kind of success, opening to a paltry $4.1 million - against a scary budget of $90 million. It is scheduled to open in Europe and Argentina next weekend, but it has got to set the continent on fire if has any chance of succeeded. There is a story in Variety this morning that states that the backers of the film aren't worried about losing $90 million; they are happy that The Promise has created awareness of Armenian genocide. Sounds like something you folks in Hollywood say ALL the time.

Tenth is our other expanding film, The Lost City of Z, which puts two brand new releases to shame again this weekend, as Z added 610 screens. For comparison's sake, Phoenix Forgotten started with 1,592 screens and Free Fire debuted with 1,070 venues. The Lost City of Z earned $2.1 million, giving it a huge increase over the $110,000 it earned last weekend from four screens.




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Phoenix Forgotten finishes 11th, earning $2 million from those 1,592 venues. While it opened poorly, it cost only $2.5 million to make, so it's on its way already. Reviews are currently split 50/50 at RottenTomatoes (but only 10 reviews are in), and the Cinemascore was a deadly C-. This one is dead, Jim.

Free Fire, the latest film from Ben Wheatley (HIgh Rise with Tom Hiddleston) and starring Brie Larson, Sharito Copley and others, finished 17th this weekend. It went out to 1,070 screens, had decent reviews (66% fresh), but didn't get a Cinemascore. It imploded, as the studio failed to market the picture. Free Fire cost $7 million to make and has made $1.1 million in the UK, so it will need some assistance to earn that budget back.

It was an ugly weekend at the box office overall. The top 12 dipped below the $100 million mark at the box office for the first time since the first week of February, earning $95.6 million. Over the April 22nd weekend last year, the top 12 earned $119.9 million, which makes this year look even worse. Next weekend brings three more films looking for a foothold prior to the release of the Guardians sequel: The Circle, which brings Belle back to the ball as Emma Watson joins Tom Hanks in The Circle, Pantelion releases How To Be A Latin Lover, with Kristen Bell and Rob Lowe taking work away from the Mexicans, and Sleight, a Blumhouse film being released by BH Tilt.


Top Ten for Weekend of April 21-23, 2017
Rank
Film
Distributor
Estimated Gross (millions)
Weekly Change
Running Total (millions)
1 The Fate of the Furious Universal 38.7 -61% 163.6
2 The Boss Baby 20th Century Fox 12.8 -20% 137.0
3 Beauty and the Beast Walt Disney Co. 10.0 -27% 471.1
4 Born in China Walt Disney Co. 5.1 New 5.1
5 Going in Style Warner Bros. 5.0 -20% 31.8
6 Smurfs: The Lost Village Sony 4.9 -28% 33.4
7 Unforgettable Warner Bros. 4.8 New 4.8
8 Gifted Fox Searchlight 4.5 +46% 10.7
9 The Promise Open Road Films 4.1 New 4.1
10 The Lost City of Z Bleecker Street 2.1 +1,849% 2.3
11 Phoenix Forgotten Cinelou Films 2.0 New 2.0
12 Get Out Universal 1.7 -43% 170.3

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