April 18, 2015

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Furious 7″” Takes 3rd Weekend Flag Over “Blart 2,” “Unfriended”


FURIOUS 7 (Universal) will handily take its third consecutive weekend title after what preliminary numbers at Deadline say was an $8M Friday.  That’s down about 58% from last Friday (which was 54% down from the Friday before), and puts the blockbuster in line for a $25M weekend, which would give it $290M in the US by Sunday, with an eventual $330M+ in its sights.  (It’s already over $1B worldwide.)  Furious 7 has one more weekend after this to run roughshod over the box office, before the new Avengers takes over.

The strongest competition was offered by PAUL BLART: MALL COP 2 (Sony/Columbia), which had a $7M opening day.  That was down about 29% from the $9.8M opening day for the first Paul Blart, and that gap is likely to widen by the end of the weekend, since Blart 1 opened on Martin Luther King Day weekend, giving it a strong Sunday that pushed it to $31.8M.  Blart 2 should hit $22M for the weekend, an OK start given its reported $30M production cost and its remarkable 0% positive score at Rotten Tomatoes, although those costs become more like $125M with worldwide marketing added.

UNFRIENDED (Blumhouse/Universal) is the latest micro-budgeted horror movie to hit multiplexes, and despite fairly good reviews for that genre (66% at Rotten Tomatoes), it’s performing in line with others of its ilk with a $6-7M opening day, a bit below the $7.7M for Woman in Black 2 earlier this year and the $8.3M for last year’s Ouija.  It might reach $15M for the weekend,  which is in keeping with its economics of a $1M production cost and marketing that’s tailored to teens.

MONKEY KINGDOM (Disney), the studio’s latest Earth Day weekend documentary, had a $1.5M Friday and will likely be at $4-4.5M for the weekend.  That’s a notch below the $3.5M opening day for Chimpanzee, the $3.3M for African Cats and the $2.3M for Bears, suggesting diminishing returns may have set in for the Disneynature franchise.  This series is such small potatoes for Disney in any case, though, that it’s likely kept up more for corporate branding purposes than to earn big profits.

THE LONGEST RIDE (20th) didn’t show much staying power, down 56% from last Friday to $2.4M, and heading for a $7M weekend.  It may not even reach $40M in the US, which will keep it ahead of only The Best of Me in the Nicholas Sparks oeuvre.

WOMAN IN GOLD (Weinstein) increased its theatre count by about one-third (to 2011), and still fell 28% from last Friday to $1.3M.  The per-theatre average drop will be more like 45%, with a $4M weekend ahead, leaving it on track for a moderate $25M US total.

HOME (DreamWorks Animation/20th) took a 60% hit from last Friday to $2.3M, which may mean a $8M weekend.  It’s tailing off toward a $160M US total, still not the breakout smash the studio needed, especially since foreign revenues have been soft so far at $117.1M.  GET HARD (RatPac Dune/Warners) fell about 49% from last Friday to $1.4M, heading for a $4M weekend and $85M or so in the US, around the same as The Campaign.  Both CINDERELLA (Disney) and INSURGENT (Summit/Lionsgate) are reaching the end of their runs with $1M Fridays, each likely to have $4M weekends.  Cinderella may not reach $200M in the US, and Insurgent will likely end up around $130M in the US, $20M below Divergent despite the boost of 3D and IMAX tickets.

EX MACHINA (A24) expanded to 39 theatres with a weekend per-theatre average that should be a fair $15K, quite a way down from last weekend’s $59K average at 4 theatres.  We don’t have numbers yet for the mid-size releases of TRUE STORY (Fox Searchlight) and CHILD 44 (Summit/Lionsgate).


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."