Sunday Final update 9:36AM after 6:50AM post: It took Fast & Furious 6 some 15 weeks to accumulate $238.6M in domestic box office during the summer of 2013. By contrast, it will take Furious 7 just 10 days to pass its immediate predecessor as the highest-grossing title in the Fast & Furious franchise.
Universal sees Furious 7 clocking a second weekend of $60.6M at 4,022 theaters, raising the pic’s 10-day domestic cume to $252.5M by end of today. That’s a 59% decline, slightly better than the -64% that FF6 registered in its second sesh.
Last night, Saturday ticket sales spiked 35% spike over Friday’s studio-reported $18.8M, bringing the cume to $236.07M. Furious 7‘s second weekend of $60.6M is the third-best sophomore session for a film playing prior to summer, ranking behind the No. 2 frames of American Sniper ($64.6M) and Alice in Wonderland ($62.7M). Among the all-time best second weekends at the B.O., Furious 7 ranks 12th.
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While Furious 7 and other big studio pics were hogging the top of box-office charts, arthouse distribs served older, smarter audiences by widening access to some of their prestige pics. Hence, the expansions of Weinstein Co.’s Woman in Gold starring Helen Mirren, Bleecker Street’s Danny Collins with Al Pacino, and A24’s Noah Baumbach film While We’re Young respectively took spots 7, 9 and 10 with the latter generating $1.3M from 242 playdates for a PTA of $5,598 (Brian Brooks will weigh in more about their success in his indie post).
Large format and IMAX venues accounted for 14% of Furious 7‘s second weekend, which has greatly rocketed it past its previous installment. When Fast and Furious 6 was released in May 2013, it was only in a handful of IMAX situations, in part because Star Trek Into Darkness had a tight Vulcan grip on most of the large-format brand’s screens.
Strong play for Furious 7 is coming out of the West and the South Central parts of the United States. Universal is already hearing from exhibs that repeat viewing is impacting ticket sales. Where’s the finish line for Furious 7 stateside? One non-Uni box office analyst who has run various projection models believes that Furious 7 could get as high as $375M at the domestic B.O.
In second, DreamWorks Animation‘s Home from 20th Century Fox took in $19M, down just 30% in its third frame at 3,703 theaters for a running cume of $129.55M as it continues to show legs as a much-needed hit for the troubled studio. Total domestic cume for Home is currently pacing ahead of last year’s DWA champ How to Train Your Dragon 2 by 6%.
20th Century Fox’s cowboy romancer The Longest Ride arrived in third with $13.5M at 3,366 theaters. The Nicholas Sparks adaptation of his 17th sudser novel was blessed with okay critical reviews (here’s the positive review from Deadline’s Pete Hammond) and an A CinemaScore – meaning audiences loved it. That also suggests there’ll be a strong giddy-up for its word of mouth and possible box-office legs like a newborn colt. While Sparks’s previous cinema fare has typically earned B and B+ grades, Longest Ride‘s A is a first for the author’s big-screen adaptations in the 11 years since The Notebook (Pete Hammond called that big hit the ‘Citizen Kane’ of Sparks adaptations). Ride also earned a 78 in the top two boxes on Post-Track.
The film’s opening weekend wound up higher than studio anticipation, originally put at $10M. When Fox won the auction to the novel back in February 2013, they shelled out $5M for it. That was when Sparks films were charting openings north of $20M, such as 2012’s The Lucky One ($22.5M) and Feb. 2013’s Safe Haven ($21.4M). Keep in mind that the average domestic opening for a Sparks film is $17.4M.
Relativity’s low opening for Best of Me took the author’s feature adaptation bows down to $10M. However, Longest Ride‘s opening weekend in relation to its reported estimated budget of $34M isn’t so bad. After spending $5M for the book, the studio kept the film cheap. It’s not unheard of for a studio to snap up a Sparks’ novel for seven figures then keep the budget low. Sparks’ novels are low-risk properties with high upsides.
As one studio executive pointed out this morning, “They’ve been launching grounds to turn actors into big stars.”
The actors attaching themselves to Sparks properties (with the exception of Channing Tatum in Dear John, which bowed to $30M) typically haven’t demonstrated their prowess at the B.O. yet. Whether Scott Eastwood, the hunky son of Clint, can launch himself out of his Longest Ride, will be worth tracking.
That’s especially the case given anticipation that the film’s positive buzz will gallop it to higher double-digit figures, much like Sparks’ previous titles. During focus-group testings, a majority of audience members commented that it was the best Sparks adaptation, ranking up there with The Notebook.
Longest Ride drew, of course, all the ladies, who repped 73% of the audience. Age wise they were evenly split with 54% under 25. Fox went after Sparks’ core group with an extensive digital campaign, as well as young romance fans, pop-culture enthusiasts and those in the American Heartland.
On YouTube, The Longest Ride amassed more than 16M views across all trailers. Facebook content drew 18M millennial females, spurred by a nationwide search for Nicholas Sparks’ #1 fan, a promo done exclusively through his official Facebook page (2.5M likes). Fox awarded the grand prize winner with a trip to the global premiere.
Fox’s partnership with People.com featured an interactive Twitter video chat with Scott Eastwood. That drew 6.2M tweets. Instagram reached more than 4M young girls, Tumbler 10M, while Snapchat content hit 17.2M. Other parts of Longest Ride‘s marketing campaign included a Valentine’s day trailer tie-in with FTD Flowers, a New York fan event hosted by Cosmopolitan, “Girls Night Out Screenings” in the top 50 markets as well as a LGBT campaign that engaged regional gay newspapers, magazines and bloggers with Scott Eastwood as centerpiece.
Down in the specialty ranks, TWC’s Woman in Gold went relatively wide, expanding from 258 to 1,504 playdates, and registered a 180% spike with a FSS of $5.8M and a running 10-day cume of $9.3M. When TWC dated the film, they waited until Fox Searchlight’s The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ran its course. There could be a push for Mirren at Oscar time as the film has already screened for the Academy. Critics have been so-so on it with a Rotten Tomatoes of 53%, however exit polls tell another story: Auds love it with an A CinemaScore.
TWC knows how to pique the interest of older moviegoers and got the word out via newspapers, older-skewing news shows like CBS Sunday Morning, AARP screenings as well as sneak previews for those in the art world (the film is based on a true story about an aging Austrian ex-pat trying to recover her family’s Gustav Klimt paintings, stolen by Nazis during WWII). Targeting art lovers, instead of just arthouse lovers, is a tactic that Cinetic did with their Oscar-nominated cult street-art doc Exit Through The Gift Shop. TWC plans to add another 300-500 engagements next weekend.
Below are the studio reported top 10 films for the weekend of April 10-12:
1). Furious 7 (UNI), 4,022 theaters (+18)/ $18.8M Fri. / $25.3M Sat. (+35%)/ $16.4M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $60.6M (-59%)/ Total Cume: $252.5M/ Wk 2
2). Home (FOX/DW), 3,703 theaters (-98) / $5.5M Fri. / $8.1M Sat. (+45%)/ $5.3M Sun. (-34%) / 3-day cume: $19M (-30%) / Total cume: $129.6M / Wk 3
3). The Longest Ride (FOX), 3,366 theaters / $5.5M Fri./$4.9M Sat. (-11%)/ $3.1M Sun. (-37%) /3-day cume: $13.5M / Wk 1
4). Get Hard (WB), 3,132 theaters (-80) / $2.6M Fri./ $3.6M Sat. (+37%)/ $2.3M Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $8.6M (-34%) / Total cume: $71.2M / Wk 3
5). Cinderella (DIS), 3,025 theaters (-379) / $2.2M Fri. / $3M Sat. (+34%)/ $1.8M Sun. (-39%) / 3-day cume: $7.2M (-29%) / Total cume: $180.7M / Wk 5
6). Insurgent (LG), 3,118 theaters (-324) / $2.1M Fri. / $3M Sat. (+39%)/ $1.6M Sun. (-44%) / 3-day cume: $6.85M (-32%) / Total cume: $114.8M / Wk 4
7). Woman in Gold (TWC), 1,504 theaters (+1,246) / $1.8M Fri. /$2.3M Sat. (+31%)/ $1.6M Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $5.85M (+180%)/ Total cume: $9.3M/ Wk 2
8). It Follows (RAD), 1,633 theaters (-22) /$634K Fri./ $844K Sat. (+33%)/ $549K Sun. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $2M (-19%)/ Total cume: $11.7M / Wk 5
9). Danny Collins (BST), 739 theaters (+656) / $465K Fri. / $683K Sat. (+47%)/ $450K Sun. (-34%) / 3-day cume: $1.6M (+361%)/ Total cume: $2.5M / Wk 4
10). While We’re Young (A24), 246 theaters (+212) / $396K Fri. /$567K Sat. (+43%)/ $397K Sun. (-30%) / 3-day cume: $1.3M (+185%) / Total cume: $2.3M / Wk 3
Son Of Satyamurthy (IND), 130 theaters / $255K Fri. /$282K Sat. (+11%)/ $155K Sun. (-45%) /3-day cume: $692K / Wk 1
Ex Machina (A24), 4 theaters / $84K Fri. /$95K Sat. (+12%)/ $71K Sun. (-25%) /3-day PSA: $62.4K/ 3-day cume: $250K / Wk 1
Freetown (PURDIE), 122 theaters / $53K Fri. / $55K Sat. (+3%)/ $39K Sun. (-29%) /3-day cume: $147K /Total cume: 209K/ Wk 1
Cloud Of Sils Maria (IFC), 3 theaters / $23K Fri. /$35K Sat. (+51%)/ $25K Sun. (-30%)/3-day PSA: $10K/ 3-day cume: $83K / Wk 1
Dior And I (ORCH), 2 theaters / $15.5K Fri. /$16.7K Sat. (+8%)/ $10.9K Sun. (-35%) /3-day PSA: $21.6K / 3-day cume: $43K / Wk 1
Desert Dancer (REL), 23 theaters / $13K Fri. /$17K Sat. (+25%)/ $11K Sun. (-35%) /3-day cume: $42K / Wk 1
Young & Prodigious T.S. Spivet (eOne), 9 theaters / $4K Fri. /$9.6K Sat. (+120%)/ $6K Sun. (-35%) /3-day cume: $20K / Wk 1
About Elly (CGD), 1 theaters / $4K Fri. / $5.5K Sat. (+43%)/ $3K Sun. (-40%) /3-day cume: $13K / Wk 1
Previous Saturday, 5AM PST: We’ve been talking a lot in the last week about the sizable drop Furious 7 is expected to take at the box office in its second frame. Our sources have pointed to -60%, triggered by the bulk of kids back in school after spring break. And yet the numbers tell a different story: With a high-ooctane fuel injection from social media across genres, the prognosis for Furious 7‘s second weekend is pretty amazing. The seven-quel added an estimated $19.2M to its domestic B.O. coffers on Friday at 4,022 with projections seeing the film at $62.7M for weekend dos. In studio reported estimates, Universal is calling Furious 7‘s second Friday at $18.8M with an eight-day haul of $210.73M. Universal says that’s the fastest that any one of its titles has crossed the $200M mark, beating Despicable Me 2 which took 11 days to cross. By the end of this weekend, Furious 7 will easily be the highest chapter of the franchise stateside with an estimated $254.69M, outstripping Furious 6 which ended its domestic run at $238.7M.
During a non-summer phase of the year with kids in school, that’s a box office haul any major studio would kill for during a second weekend, let alone an opening weekend. At this pace, if Furious 7 sets its course on cruise control and hits that figure, it could be the second best sophomore sesh for a film during the pre-summer months behind American Sniper (second weekend $64.6M). It will be close because Disney’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland, which is currently behind Sniper, minted a sophomore weekend of $62.714M. Among all second weekends at the domestic B.O., there’s a chance that Furious 7 could be ninth in the record books. Hands down, Furious 7 is set to beat the second weekend of The Hunger Games ($58.55M), which also owns the record for the biggest pre-summer launch ($152.5M).
A kinetic social media campaign continues to feed the Furious 7 juggernaut. RelishMix notes that since the movie opened, it has added 27M Facebook fans, another 1M on Twitter, with YouTube views adding 61M. The YouTube portion has been spurred by Wiz Khalifa’s music video “See You Again” from the soundtrack, which is clocking an average of 2.9M views a day for a total of 16.8M. Lead thesp Vin Diesel, who counted 86.7M Facebook followers two weeks before Furious 7 opened, is poised to shoot past the 90M mark. His Instagram has shot up from 2.7M to 3.6M over the same frame. Diesel’s total social media reach across Instagram and Facebook now counts 93.6M, up 4.7% since March 22, when Deadline took the pulse on Furious 7‘s opening prospects.
Other Furious 7 stars seeing upticks in their social media fandom (across Twitter, FB and Instagram) between today and two weeks before the pic’s opening are Jordana Brewster (+14% with a total of 6.6M), Paul Walker (+6.7%, total 46.05M) and Michelle Rodrigeuz (+5%, total 13.4M). Imax and premium large format are also adding nitro this weekend to Furious 7 accounting for 19% of the film’s 4,022 theater count.
The frame’s sole wide entry, 20th Century Fox’s The Longest Ride, the big screen version of Nicholas Sparks’ 17th romance novel, is galloping along quite nicely in third with an industry estimate of $5.5M on Friday and a revised weekend projection of $13.8M, up nearly 40% from the $10M predicted earlier. A milestone bound to make Fox executives yell “yee-haw!”: The Longest Ride marks the first Sparks feature adaptation to earn an A in the 11 years since 2004’s The Notebook. Since that time, the big screen takes on the author’s tomes have earned B or B+. Notebook‘s turnstiles saw frequent spins thanks to the summer season, which explains why the film ended its domestic run at $81M, six times its $13.5M opening. While stars such as Miley Cyrus (The Last Song) and Channing Tatum (Dear John) have propped up previous Sparks material at the B.O., Notebook‘s Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams weren’t marquee names when that film bowed. In fact, the film launched them to a higher realm. It’s too soon to say whether The Longest Ride will boost Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson’s profile in the same fashion. What is clear is that Sparks’ fare tends to close its stateside runs with cumes that are 2.6-3.9X their openings.
Other highlights this weekend include the wide expansions of Weinstein Co.’s Woman In Gold starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds and Bleecker Street’s Danny Collins. In its second frame, Woman in Gold posted an estimated $1.7M Friday, up 183%, on its way to a $5.7M FSS at 1,504 theaters. Al Pacino’s aging-crooner comedy Danny Collins expanded from 83 playdates to 739 generating $423K yesterday, a 300% surge, for an industry projected weekend of $1.3M. Among notables, A24’s sci-fi Ex Machina, which marks the directing debut of 28 Days Later scribe Alex Garland, is looking forward to a strong per-theater of $46,500 this weekend at four locales in New York and Los Angeles.
The industry’s top 10 estimates for the weekend of April 10-12:
1).Furious 7 (UNI), 4,022 theaters (+18)/ $19.2M Fri. (-71%) / 3-day cume: $62.7M (-57%)/ Total Cume: $254.69M/ Wk 2
2). Home (FOX/DW), 3,703 theaters (-98) / $5.5M Fri. (-51%)/ 3-day cume: $19.7M (-27%) / Total cume: $130M / Wk 3
3). The Longest Ride (FOX), 3,366 theaters / $5.5M Fri. / 3-day cume: $13.8M / Wk 1
4). Get Hard (WB), 3,132 theaters (-80) / $2.4M Fri. (-50%)/ 3-day cume: $8.2M (-37%) / Total cume: $70.8M / Wk 3
5). Cinderella (DIS), 3,025 theaters (-379) / $2.2M Fri. (-44%) / 3-day cume: $7.9M (-22%) / Total cume: $181.4M / Wk 5
6). Insurgent (LG), 3,118 theaters (-324) / $2M Fri. (-48%) / 3-day cume: $6.8M (-32%) / Total cume: $114.4M / Wk 4
7). Woman in Gold (TWC), 1,504 theaters (+1,246) / $1.7M Fri. (+183%) / 3-day cume: $5.7M (+176%)/ Total cume: $9.1M/ Wk 2
8). It Follows (RAD), 1,633 theaters (-22) / $601K Fri. (-35%) / 3-day cume: $1.8M (-27%)/ Total cume: $11.6M / Wk 5
9). Danny Collins (BST), 739 theaters (+656) / $423K Fri. (+300%) / 3-day cume: $1.3M (+293%)/ Total cume: $2.2M / Wk 4
10). Kingsman: The Secret Service (FOX), 1,013 theaters (-314) / $358K Fri. (-44%) / 3-day cume: $1.2M (-31%) / Total cume: $124.4M / Wk 9
Son Of Satyamurthy (IND), 130 theaters / $200K Fri. / 3-day cume: $588K / Wk 1
Ex Machina (A24), 4 theaters / $60K Fri. / 3-day PSA: $46.5K/ 3-day cume: $186K / Wk 1
Desert Dancer (REL), 23 theaters / $13K Fri. / 3-day cume: $41K / Wk 1
Lost River (WB), 3 theaters / $13K Fri. / 3-day PSA: 13K/ 3-day cume: $39K / Wk 1
Clouds of Sils Maria (IFC), 6 theaters / $10K Fri. / 3-day cume: $33K / Wk 1
Young & Prodigious T.S. Spivet (EONE), 9 theaters / $4K Fri. / 3-day cume: $13K / Wk 1
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