April Box Office Recap
By Steven Slater
May 4, 2017
In April we celebrate the resurrection of a man who has changed our world profoundly for the better. None other than our Lord and Savior, Vin Diesel. He appeared in our lives with a movie that was both Fast and Furious. Then, his character left us for a span of two films and eight years. But, yea, his return was foretold with a cameo appearance, and verily did he return to us, alive and well. And he reached out his hand, and he touched us, and said to us that we were not his friends, we were his family. And that life is lived one quarter of a mile at a time. And so it is, and so shall it ever be.
If I am struck down by lightning right about now, then this ends the April box office recap. If I am spared, however…
April has been earmarked for a few years now as the new “start” of the summer box office season if there is a Fast and Furious movie coming out. Ever since Fast Five opened on the very last days of April 2011 with $86 million, the franchise has staked out the month as its own. If the dominance was ever in doubt, name another movie that came out this April. Uhh...that triangle movie. And the Indian one. Oh, I know, Smurfs! Smurfs had a movie! It was called...umm...something something. Oh, right, and there was a movie called Unforgettable. How could I...you know what, I’m not even going to finish that sentence.
Yes, our number one movie in April is the world’s oddest franchise after Ernest and Mr. Bean. Racing cars, then cars that facilitate heists, then cars that fly, float, swim, soar, and discover life on Mars. But they really did tap into something, with a diverse cast, exotic locales, silly dumb fun, and the Rock. Number seven in the series peaked with a huge opening weekend of $147 million and a worldwide total of a massive $1.5 billion, good for 6th all time (just a hair below the Avengers!). This was of course facilitated by all the buzz surrounding Paul Walker’s untimely death, but it still would not have happened without the franchise being able to stand on its own.
The Fate of the Furious (should have been F8 of the Furious), opened to a tamer $98.79 million, second best for the series, and has amassed $193 million for the month. The big number, though, is the billion dollar mark in worldwide receipts, which F8 eclipsed on the last day of the month. It is the 30th film to cross that mark after Beauty and the Beast, and it may soon become just the 6th film to cross the billion dollar mark for international grosses. In case anyone is wondering, domestic gross is all of North America, international is everywhere else, and worldwide adds the two together. However, a new category may need to be added: China. F8 opened to $190 million in China, and has amassed $310 million for the month of April. Read that again. It’s opening weekend in China equals the monthly gross (seventeen days) for North America. I think Jackie Chan will be the antagonist in the next film.