Tuesday, April 7, 2015

'Furious 7' breaks records with massive $147.1 million haul at weekend box office

We all knew that Furious 7 was going to be big, but I didn't even think that it had a chance of being so massively huge. The seventh installment in the street racing/urban warfare franchise surpassed all expectations and broke records along the way with a $147.1 million weekend. That's a huge upgrade over Furious 6's $97.3 million 3-day opening frame and a great way to kick off the summer season. The film received an "A" Cinemascore and fan support continued to be strong throughout the weekend. Furious 7 benefited from a strong marketing campaign, great reviews and the fact that this was star Paul Walker's final film. Furious 7's stunning debut was the biggest April opening of all time, the second highest Spring opening ever, and the ninth highest opening weekend ever.

Furious 7 also had an absolutely astounding worldwide opening that broke all kinds of records. In international markets, Furious 7 pulled in $245 million, smashing records in several countries. That strong international number gave Furious 7 a $392.2 million worldwide opening, which is the fourth largest of all time. The Fast and Furious is certainly one of the big franchises in Hollywood now and there is no doubt in my mind that Furious 7 will be hitting $1 billion very soon. And although the film gives a touching send-off for Paul Walker, there's no question that this franchise will continue over the next few years. Whether or not this is the series' peak is hard to tell, but as long as the filmmakers continue to create inventive action scenes with cars, I believe fans will keep coming out for these films.

None of the other titles in the marketplace even came close to matching Furious 7's number, but there were still other films that people went to see this weekend. Home finished in second place with $27 million, which was enough to raise its total to $95.2 million. This is an absolutely atrocious movie that nobody should see, but with Spring Break in full effect right now, the kids have gotta see something.

Get Hard finished in third place, dropping a massive 61% to $13.1 million. The raunchy and controversial comedy has now made $57.2 million, which isn't bad considering its $40 million budget. Still, word of mouth is definitely hurting this film and the competition from Furious 7 didn't help either. Get Hard will likely finish with $80 million.

In fourth place was Disney's Cinderella, which grossed $10.1 million this weekend. The surprise family hit has now snagged $167.1 million in box office receipts since its opening and will likely push the $200 million mark by the end of its run. Just behind Cinderella was Insurgent, which dropped another 53% down to fifth place. Insurgent made $10.1 million this weekend and its total gross is now $103.5 million. Summit has to be concerned with the box office results for this one and I sincerely wonder if this franchise will find a way to continue.

Despite opening in more theaters, It Follows still dropped 34% down to sixth place, where it took in $2.5 million. The creepily fun horror flick has made $8.5 million so far, and will be looked on as a success even if it doesn't live up to the critical hype. Just behind It Follows was Woman in Gold, the only other new wide release of the weekend. It grossed $2 million in seventh place, a solid number. Woman in Gold will certainly expand in the following weeks and I can see it reaching a wider audience at some point.

Kingsman managed to keep its run going for another weekend, finishing in eighth place with $1.8 million. The action flick has now made $122.3 million and I'm just waiting for the sequel announcement at this point. Do You Believe? finished in ninth place with $1.5 million, which was enough to raise its total to $9.8 million. And finally, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel grossed $1 million to round out the top ten. The sequel to the 2012 smash hit has now made $30.1 million.

Next weekend sees the release of The Longest Ride and the limited debut of Ex Machina. Here are my predictions:

1. Furious 7- $59.4 million
2. The Longest Ride- $25 million
3. Home- $16.5 million
4. Get Hard- $6.8 million
5. Cinderella- $6.6 million
6. Insurgent- $5.8 million
7. Woman in Gold- $4.9 million
8. It Follows- $1.6 million
9. Kingsman- $1 million
10. Do You Believe?- $900,000

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