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Weekend B.O. April 17-19 (It’s *Dem Damn Furriners*)

Weekend B.O. April 17-19 (It's *Dem Damn Furriners*)

You just
can’t stop “Furious 7.” Not only was the film No 1 again at the b.o., as everyone
knew it would be, with $29 million, but, this past week, the film opened in China to
the largest single day movie opening ever in the country, grossing nearly $69 million
on the first day of release.

But if that isn’t
impressive enough, the film has already grossed over $1.152 billion dollars
worldwide in just 17 days, which is the fastest amount of time that any film
has ever grossed that amount of money, ever.

But it’s those damn furriners who are rocking F7 to
such heights. When you break down the b.o. total to date, F7 has grossed $294.4
million domestically, which is pretty fantastic. But overseas the film has
grossed a staggering $838.3 million and it’s now the seventh biggest grossing
film ever.

I can’t
explain it, but they’re going bat shit crazy in dem furrin countries over F7 (pardon
my French). Maybe there’s someone out there who can. Some Frenchman
perhaps.

But one
other thing that hasn’t been mentioned (until now is that is) is that “Furious 7” has also become the biggest grossing film ever directed by an Asian (or more
accurately Asian–American) director, in James Wan. The previous record was held
by Justin Lin with “Fast and Furious 6,” which grossed $789 million (which, of course, brings up the question I’m
just compelled to ask – when will a
black director make that list? I can hear it already: “Why do you always keep bringing up race?” Because it is my nature. Now shut up and sit down).

The No. 2 film this weekend should not have been a surprise either. I’m referring to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” which did pretty well, considering it was released
practically under the radar, and wasn’t screened in advance to the media (though
that’s not surprising). But the first “Blart” movie, believe or not, changed Hollywood’s movie releasing strategy in a major way.

When the
first “Paul Blart” film opened in January 2009, it was the third highest opening
for any film in January after “Cloverfield” in 2008, with $40 million, and “Star
Wars: The Special Edition,” with $34 million, way back in 1997.

Most people didn’t
take notice of those two films because they were both heavily-promoted fanboy
movies, and you know them. They’ll rush out of their basement rooms to see
anything. But “Paul Blart” was a very modestly budgeted B-movie comedy, with a B-list sit-com star, and it did huge business, grossing nearly $150 million.

This was
proof to Hollywood marketing people that a lot of people will go see
anything in dead-of-winter January, not just the fanboys. And also this meant
that January would stop becoming the dumping ground for bad films that the studios
had no faith in, which had been the case for many years. In fact, “Blart” has now slipped
from 3rd to 9th for all time January b.o. openings.

This time
around “Blart 2” opened with $24 million, not that far apart from F7, and though it
won’t equal the final b.o. take of the first one, it should still do well for
Sony.

But
Universal must be even happier with their third place result for their indie horror film pick-up, “Unfriended,” which cost only a $1 million to make, and with the $16
million the film made this weekend, it’s already a huge success for the studio.

However, one
big loser was Summit/Lionsagte’s period suspense thriller, set in the old Communist
Russia, “Child 44,” with Tom Hardy (soon to be seen next month as Mad Max in “Fury
Road”). Yet another film that was not screened to the media beforehand (though
the reviews so far haven’t been entirely awful), the film only grossed $600,000
in a limited release, playing on 510 screens. “Fury Road” can’t come fast enough for
Hardy.

1) Furious 7  Uni.  $29,056,000  Total: $294,410,000 
2) Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2  Sony  $24,000,000 
3) Unfriended  Uni.  $16,023,000 
4) Home   Fox  $10,300,000  Total: $142,609,000 
5) The Longest Ride  Fox  $6,850,000  Total: $23,511,000 
6) Get Hard  WB  $4,830,000  Total: $78,279,000 
7) Monkey Kingdom  BV  $4,715,000 
8) Woman in Gold  Wein.  $4,587,000  Total: $15,943,000 
9) The Divergent Series: Insurgent  LG/S  $4,150,000  Total: $120,605,000 
10) Cinderella  BV  $3,871,000  Total: $186,324,000 
11) True Story  FoxS  $1,930,000 
12) While We’re Young  A24  $1,584,000  Total: $4,152,000

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