Franchise alert: In case you haven’t noticed, “Furious 7” has become a box-office juggernaut. Midway through last week, it became the fastest film to reach the $1 billion mark, taking only 17 days (“The Avengers” and “Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part 2” took nineteen). Thanks to a phenomenal $250 million five-day gross in China, “Furious 7” now stands a $1.15 billion worldwide and is currently the seventh highest grossing film of all time. Considering it’s only been in theaters for 2.4 weeks, we can assume it’s likely going to surpass “The Avengers” for the number three all-time slot. All of these figures are stunning, but perhaps most surprisingly, “Furious 7” is the first film from Universal to make it to $1 billion. Over the course of seven films, the ‘Fast & The Furious’ series has grossed $3.53 billion globally, and it’s extraordinary to think: when was the last time the seventh installment of a movie was its highest grossing effort?
In many ways, this means “Furious 7” is just the start of the series that has now been re-legitimized in a major way. For one, don’t expect the series to end any time soon, and two, while the film is grossing heavy figures without the need for spin-offs or an interconnected universe, the more is usually the merrier in Hollywood, so don’t be surprised if the movies begin to expand and branch off to create more and more revenue streams (Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has grossed $7.1 billion so far, and that’s the brass ring all execs are chasing).
Domestically, the movie won the weekend again with an almost $30 million gross in its third week (it won last weekend too, with close to $60 million) and it’s closing in on the $300 million mark at home. Three new movies cracked the top ten this weekend, including “Paul Blart Mall Cop 2” ($24 million), Universal’s horror “Unfriended” ($16 million), and Disney’s “Monkey Kingdom” ($4.7 million). Falling just outside the top ten (in the eleventh spot) was Fox Searchlight’s “True Story,” which grossed $1.93 million from 831 screens (a rather low $2,323 per screen average).
But the limited release story still belongs to A24’s excellent science fiction film “Ex Machina.” Last weekend, it had the best per screen average ($59K). and it continued strong in week two, winning the per screen average race again with $20,872 from 39 screens. A24 made the mistake twice last year of going too wide too early (“The Rover” and “Tusk”) and both films crashed and burned. This year, it looks like they’ve learned from their failures and could create an even bigger slow and steady build for the routinely adored sci-fi movie from director Alex Garland. As expected, given flat reviews, Lionsgate‘s “Child 44” flopped in limited release, grossing only $600k from 510 screens, for a low $1,176 PSA. Not even the cast of Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and Gary Oldman could save that turgid effort. Other indies opening up this weekend included “Felix And Meria” (a $15k PSA) and the Oscar-nominated “Tangerines” ($4.6K PSA).
Outside of Dreamworks Animation‘s “Home,” which has grossed almost $150 million domestically in four weeks, most of the top ten has unremarkable stories: “The Divergent Series: Insurgent” is likely going to fall short of the original’s $150 million North American gross, and “Cinderella” is slowly trucking towards $200 million in week six.
1. Furious 7 — $29,056,000 ($294,410,000)
2. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 — $24,000,000
3. Unfriended — $16,023,000
4. Home — $10,300,000 ($142,609,000)
5. The Longest Ride – $6,850,000 ($23,511,000)
6. Get Hard — $4,830,000 ($78,279,000)
7. Monkey Kingdom — $4,715,000
8. Woman in Gold — $4,587,000 ($15,943,000)
9. The Divergent Series: Insurgent — $4,150,000 ($120,605,000)
10. Cinderella — $3,871,000 ($186,324,00)