Lionsgate’s multi-decade age-stands-still drama “The Age of Adaline” beat out three-weekend champ “Furious 7” (Universal) Friday. The romance took in just under $5 million ($4.8 million) with “Furious 7” in second, edging it for the day due to opening day interest plus a decent Thursday night gross. “Furious” should still take its fourth and last weekend at number one, the first to do so in its initial weeks since the first “Hunger Games” three years ago.
But the overall picture is more mixed. The Top Ten came in a bit under $24 million, marking the second lowest Friday of 2015 so far (and likely the lowest under September), and down sharply from $31 million the same day last year. The main reason is a lack of topline new studio product, with distributors avoiding competition a week before the juggernaut “The Avengers – Age of Ultron” opens domestically (after already scoring major initial returns its first week plus internationally).
Three other films opened nationally less wide to mixed results. “Ex-Machina” (A24) was best, taking sixth place with a respectable $1.7 million in 1,255 theaters in its third week expansion. The per screen average among recent similar releases is somewhat below the opening day of “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” which took in $2.7 million its initial Friday in 1,573 theaters (though “Ex-Machina” already has $1.5 million banked in its more limited dates). This is certainly enough sampling to give the A.I. story a chance to grow if broader audiences respond to it. With little new competition other than “Avengers” until mid-May, it has a shot to thrive as a strong alternative ahead.
Open Road’s latest independent acquisition “Little Boy,” a father/son story during World War II with primary appeal to faith-based family audiences, placed eighth with $1.35 million in 1,045 theaters. It should gain some strength over the weekend, but even more targeted it doesn’t seem to have the pop that most of the distributor’s usually harder-edge releases show.
Russell Crowe’s directorial debut “The Water Diviner” (Warner Bros.) took in only $374,000 in 320 theaters, with its PSA of $1,168 coming in below “Ex-Machina” though it played in only about a quarter as many theaters. With the bulk of its media marketing already completed, it doesn’t look likely to have the momentum needed to expand into a broad-based success.
Along with “Furious 7” (and now at $307 million), other holdovers with one exception dropped less than 50%. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” (Sony) took third with $3.75 million. “Unfriended” (Universal) had the sole big drop, taking in only $2 million to take fourth (it did $7.3 last Friday). “Home” (20th Century Fox) was fifth with $1.8 million, “The Longest Ride” (20th Century Fox) seventh a little under $1.4 million, with “Monkey Kingdom” (Buena Vista) and “Get Hard” (Warner Bros.) completing the Top Ten, both close to a little over $1 million.
On the limited front, HBO’s three-theater prerelease of “Kurt Cobain – Montage of Heck” (hitting cable early next month) scored a $53,700 take, suggesting that it might have been a strong specialized hit had it gone a conventional route.