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Friday Box Office: ‘Furious’ Down But Still Dominant, ‘Ex Machina’ Debuts Strong

Friday Box Office: 'Furious' Down But Still Dominant, 'Ex Machina' Debuts Strong

Furious 7(Universal) with $18.8 million took in nearly half of the Top Ten take of $40.6 million, still dominating the list in its second weekend. The gross is 73 per cent off from last Friday, actually decent in context. Last week’s number included Thursday night shows and benefited from the Good Friday holiday. The drop is identical to “Fast and Furious 6” in 2013, despite “7” having a much higher initial take.

In eight days “Furious 7” has already amassed $210 million and looks like capable of upending “American Sniper” as top calendar 2015 grosser (at least until “Avengers: Age of Ultron” arrives in May). Friday for “Furious” outpaced “Sniper”‘s second wide Friday by $600,000, although the latter held phenomenally well for many weekends (it still is on 616 screens in its 16th week).

For the second straight week, only one new wide release opened, which accounts in part for the middling Top Ten total, slightly down from the same one last year. The Longest Ride(20th Century Fox), the tenth adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel to reach the screen (going back to “Message in the Bottle”) opened to $5.5 million. This is ahead of the $4.1 million that “The Best of Me” grossed last November, but otherwise lags behind most of the author’s other recent initial Fridays. Its A Cinemascore though suggests that it could have a decent hold.

“Home” (20th Century Fox) placed second with $5.6 million, down only 50 per cent from its strong Friday last week. The holdovers in fourth to sixth place also dropped in that range as well: in order,  “Get Hard” (20th Century Fox) with $2.6 million, “Cinderella” (Buena Vista) $2.3 million and “Insurgent” (Lionsgate) $2.2 million.

Showing the dearth of wide release studio product, the rest of the Top Ten consists of more limited, older audience and/or specialized releases. Woman in Gold(Weinstein) in seventh jumped to 1,504 theaters from its unusual initial 258 last week to gross $1.8 million, a decent number for this number of screens with a likely much stronger Saturday ahead. “It Follows” (Radius/TWC) took eighth with $634,000, holding well with only a 31 per cent drop. New distributor Bleecker Street took ninth with “Danny Collins” grossing $465,000 in 739 theaters. In far fewer theaters (246), A24’s “While We’re Young” placed tenth with $400,000.

A24 looks like it has its second straight very strong limited opener with the artificial intelligence drama Ex Machina.” It took in $84,300 in only 4 New York/Los Angeles locations, and is headed like “While We’re Young” to its second $50,000 + per screen average opener in three weeks.

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