Fate Wins by Default as Guardians Assemble
By John Hamann
April 30, 2017
Who is the winner at the box office this weekend? Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and it doesn't open domestically until next weekend.
Universal could not have picked a better weekend to release The Fate of the Furious. It has been in release for 17 days, and in terms of weekend box office, nothing has even approached it. Until Friday – when it smashed into Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, an Indian film that had an opening day only $250K back from the Furious blockbuster. However, fellow opener How to be a Latin Lover from Pantelion moved up, as did the Tom Hanks, Emma Watson thriller The Circle, but that one is DOA - due to one of the worst Cinemascores in recent memory. There is little good news at the box office this weekend, so if you listen really close, that sound you hear is the Guardians preparing for utter domination next weekend, as Marvel will likely have a fifth film join the top 15 openers of all time.
The first five Fast and Furious Films never repeated at number one, they were always one and done openers (except for Tokyo Drift which didn't even make it to number one). Fast & Furious 6 was the first to see two consecutive number ones, but only because Will and Jaden Smith's After Earth flopped, and the first Now You See Me film over-performed, barely leaving Furious 6 on top. Furious 6 opened in May over Memorial Day Weekend, leaving it to get pounded by other blockbusters. Like Fate, Furious 7 opened on Easter weekend, and carried the ball for four consecutive weekends, before Marvel's Age of Ultron showed up a month after its open and debuted to $191.3 million. Is this sounding familiar to anyone, with another Marvel film waiting in the wings, and Furious 8 stringing together number one weekends?
This weekend, The Fate of the Furious earned $5.1 million on Friday night, but was still off a hefty 54% from the Friday previous, due to the powerful opening days of the Indian film Baahubali 2 and the Mexican film How To Be A Latin Lover. Another anchor was the $173 million Furious 8 had already earned prior to the weekend, and a loss of 252 venues, and the Friday drop seems rather reasonable. For the weekend, Furious 8 earned $19.39 million, off 50% when comparing weekends. Furious 6, which had been the best comparison for Furious 8, dropped 44% in weekend 3, and carried its domestic total beyond the $200 million mark. Furious 7, which had a much higher opening weekend and gross-to-date than Furious 8 - but a similar release date, fell 51% in weekend 3. So, compared to other Furious films, The Fate of the Furious seems to be dropping off quicker than some of the other films in the series, but still has an impressive domestic take so far of $192.72 million, and should finish near the $238.7 million that Furious 6 finished with.
The big accomplishment this weekend for The Fate of the Furious comes with the worldwide gross, as it crossed the $1 billion mark globally. Furious 8 had some competition in many overseas markets from a little film called Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which got a head start in some markets due to holidays. Still, Fate of the Furious's international total now stands at $867.6 million. Guardians 2 picked up $101.2 million million from a handful of markets, and will go much wider next weekend, joining the domestic open. Domestically, some analysts are looking for a Guardians open as high as $150 million, with the overseas forecast to be in the $100 million ballpark. This is going to be a case of the billion dollar earner Fate of the Furious passing the baton off to the sure-thing billion dollar earner in Guardians Vol. 2. With Furious 8, it will be interesting to see if it can match the $1.5 billion earned worldwide by Furious 7, considering it will come up $100 million short on the domestic side.