Box Office: ‘Latin Lover’ Tops ‘The Circle,’ ‘Fate of the Furious’ Rides to Third Straight No. 1

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Courtesy of Pantelion Films

It has become a familiar story — “The Fate of the Furious” is, once again, the box office champ.

The massively popular eighth episode in the Fast and Furious franchise earned $19.4 million this weekend from 4,077 locations, placing it securely in first place during a sputtering weekend, anticipating the summer season. After winning the domestic box office for three straight weeks, the Universal movie’s U.S. total stands at $192.7 million. Not only that, “Fate’s” global total officially crossed the $1 billion mark, making it the 21st highest grossing movie of all time behind 2006’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.” Its total global sum stands at $1.06 billion.

But while “Fate’s” victory seemed inevitable, the rest of the weekend’s top five reaped intrigue. Pantelion’s “How to be a Latin Lover” slid into second over Tom Hanks and Emma Watson’s not-so-distant future tech-thriller “The Circle.” Led by Mexican star Eugenio Derbez, “Latin Lover” attracted $12 million from only 1,118 targeted locations. The opening weekend’s audience domestically was 89% Hispanic.

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In “Latin Lover,” Derbez plays a man named Maximo who made a career seducing older women. When his now 80-year-old wife kicks him out for a younger man, Maximo goes to live with his sister (Salma Hayek) and attempts to remaster his art of seduction. Rob Lowe and Kristen Bell also star in comedic actor Ken Marino’s directorial debut.

Derbez has won over the domestic box office in the past. In 2013’s “Instructions Not Included,” which he directed in addition to starring in, earned $7.8 million in its opening weekend from only 348 theaters. But while back then Derbez may have seemed like a risk to Pantelion — a venture backed by Mexico-based Televisa and Lionsgate — the comic has turned out to be a bit of a sure thing. Derbez’s celebrity was key in promoting “Latin Lover,” including a prank video where he posed as an undercover Regal Cinemas employee that got almost a million views on Facebook. Pantelion will bet on Derbez again in a remake of “Overboard” which begins production in May.

Despite screening in only 420 locations, the South Indian epic “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” landed in third for the weekend with a hefty sum of $10.5 million. The movie, from Great India Films, is the sequel to “Baahubali: The Beginning” which made $3.6 million when it opened in 236 theaters in 2015. S.S. Rajamouli returned to direct the movie starring Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, and Anushka Shetty. The movie was distributed in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and Malayalam.

“Baahubali 2” earned $1.8 million of its domestic total from 45 IMAX screens alone. Five domestic IMAX locations set new three-day weekend records, and the film also set records in India, making it the biggest domestic IMAX opening for a foreign language film.

“The multiple language formats as well as the IMAX component has taken the box office potential for ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’ to the next level and truly shows power of Indian cinema and the passion audiences have for these films,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at ComScore, predicting that “Conclusion” may be a misleading title considering the movie’s global box office success.

Not every story from the weekend box office was quite so rosy. Slapped with a rare D+ CinemaScore and a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes, “The Circle” landed $9.3 million from 3,163 theaters, falling short of its double-digit projections. The $18 million movie was acquired by EuropaCorp for an estimated $8 million.

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The film hoped to draw audiences by tapping into modern-day anxieties surrounding technology and privacy. In the movie, Hanks plays the CEO of a Silicon Valley social media company. His young employee, played by Watson, finds herself wrapped up in an experiment that tests ethical limits. James Ponsoldt directed the movie and co-wrote the script with Dave Eggers, who wrote the novel on which the movie was based.

Blumhouse’s BH Tilt label released “Sleight” in 565 theaters, and saw a weekend gross of $1.7 million. The film tells the story of a young street magician in Los Angeles (Jacob Latimore) who uses magic and his mind to save his kidnapped sister. Seychelle Gabriel, Dulé Hill, Storm Reid, and Sasheer Zamata also star. The label’s marketing and release strategy targeted a young, urban audience — 72% of audiences fell in the 18-34 demo and 45% were African-American.

In its fifth weekend, Fox’s “Boss Baby” held onto the fifth position. The animated film earned an additional $9.1 million from 3,739 locations, raising its domestic total to just shy of $150 million.

Next weekend marks the first summer frame, and should see “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” post huge numbers. The sequel earned over $101 million at the foreign box office in its opening weekend — one ahead of the U.S. When the now-beloved first “Guardians” movie launched as a relatively unknown property in August of 2014, it made $94 million in its opening weekend.

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  1. Sal U. Lloyd says:

    SPIDER, Derbez is NOT a “huge name” in Latin America. Not even in Mexico anymore. He’s a TV has-been. “Peluches” was very funny, but what have you done for me lately Derbez??? The commercial success of “instructions Not Included” was a fluke! He is NOT well known in the US.
    One thing I agree with Mexican filmmaker Felipe Cazals, is that Derbez says a lot of “pendejadas.”

    • Spider says:

      SAL U LLOYD. He is as huge a name as he needs to be to warrant a #2 opening in the US AND in just over 1,000 theaters with minimum advertisement… People KNOW WHO HE IS!!!! Hell, YOU know who he is. Get my drift?? Look at the numbers; this flick WILL have legs..His stock is RISING!! YOU don’t have to agree with it’s success AND you SURE AS HELL DON’T HAVE TO LIKE IT!!!!! KEEP talking about Derbez because there is no such thing as bad publicity…. I would, however, suggest that you stop TROLLING everyone on this thread….as I’m sure the powers that be at VARIETY are on to you!!!!!

      • Sal U. Lloyd says:

        LOL Variety doesn’t monitor like you think, Cider.

        Yeah, they know who he is in Mexico, but he is not as highly regarded as he was on TV. Notice he hasn’t dared make a film there. He settles for US-Mexican co-productions AIMED AT THE LATINO MARKET IN THE U.S. because our ticket prices are more expensive! This one, did NOT make as much money in its opening weekend as INSTRUCTIONS. His next one (which is already planned) will make even less. He’s like a Mexican Adam Sandler or Rob Schneider, not funny, at least not anymore. And ANY Mexican moviegoer can tell you, he’s rehashing his old schtick, which can only go so far.

        Do you even know who Cazals is without Googling his name??? No.

  2. justsuge says:

    Wow Watson’s PR team must be working overtime. Seriously, Hanks is barely in “The Circle” yet somehow he keeps being blamed for this disaster. It was her “non-fantasy” try to be star vehicle. Her acting is sadly very wooden and she doesn’t fit in that film at all. Aside from that people are tired of the genre to be honest. It might have done better a few years ago. Either way stop blaming Hanks for a movie where he is the supporting character!

  3. Peggy Allen says:

    The Circle – Movies with British leads underperform at the US box office. Why do they keep hiring them?

  4. Siberian Husky says:

    What minority audiences pulled off this weekend is so freaking impressive. Sending LATIN LOVER and BAAHULIBALI 2 to 2nd and 3rd place at the U.S. box office while playing in 1/3 or less the amount of theaters of every major studio release still in theaters, is a game Changer at best and/or an eye opener at the very least. Much of the standard PC BS that the studios roll out ad nauseum doesn’t interest these audiences in the least. And more and more, America is becoming brown and black. Studios and theaters would be wise to take notice. The punk-ish liberals audience that most films are trying to cater to won’t be around long enough to warrant such demand.

    • jon b says:

      WE MUST STOP MALICIOUS MOVIE CRITICS. Calling on all WGA, DGA, and SAG members to boycott and not work with any studio that advertises on Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB. We must stop malicious movie critics from smearing our work. This is far more important than the strike.

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      Star Wars # 7 is “punkish liberal”???

      It is YOU right wingers who are loathe to see an America turning brown and black! Your post is a contradiction or you are the lone exception.

      • KC Martinez says:

        Wow, what are you taking about. The movie has hard line liberals like Raquel Welch and Selma Hayek.
        And, it’s refreshing to see a movie about life without guns, God or violence.

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      I guess the real headline here, is that a non-household name Mexican actor out-grossed the established Tom Hanks in a pretentious though bland film, in the domestic box office.

      • Spider says:

        You sound bitter! Sour grapes, much??? More like: Non household name in your home outgrosses Emma Watson and supporting actor Tom Hanks….. Eugenio Derbez is a huge name in Latin America and has a substantial following here in the US. Yes, his star is rising here! Great for him! “Latin Lover” was actually enjoyable. Viva Mexico!

    • Sal U. Lloyd says:

      Star Wars # 7 is “punkish liberal”???? WTF!!!

      Furthermore, it is your fellow right wingers who cringe at an America becoming brown and black!!! So your post really is a contradiction or you just might be the lone exception!

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