×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Box Office: ‘Fate of the Furious’ Debuts to Hefty $100.2 Million

The Fate of the Furious” is roaring to a record-setting global debut over the weekend even as domestic audiences showed less enthusiasm for the latest installment in Universal’s long-running “Fast and Furious” series.

Final numbers have yet to be released, but based on earlier estimates, the action-thriller is poised to set a new worldwide high-water mark with $532.5 million. That would power the film over the previous record of $529 million set by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2015. If that happens, a large part of the credit will to China, where “The Fate of the Furious” racked up a massive $190 million in its first two days of release. It is worth noting that Chinese theaters only give studios about 25% of ticket sales, roughly half of what they receive in most major territories.

Domestically, there are indications that a franchise centered on muscle cars and physics-defying stunts, has crested. “The Fate of the Furious” took in an estimated $100.2 million, an impressive result, but a steep drop off from “Furious 7’s” $147.2 million kick-off. Heading into the weekend, most analysts expected the film would roar past the $100 million mark, instead of inch over the line.

“For a franchise that is eight films deep, this is a solid result,” said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “It’s clear though that the last one was the highest this franchise is ever going to go.”

There are important reasons for the fall-off. “Furious 7” served as a memorial of sorts to Paul Walker, the franchise star whose 2013 death in a car accident shattered his co-stars and many fans. This time, there wasn’t the same emotional resonance. “The Fate of the Furious” continues the franchise without Walker, adding in series newcomers such as Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren.

Then there was the off-screen drama. This film had to contend with reports of off-screen tension between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson that undermined one of the franchise’s key selling points — that these films are celebrations of family and brotherhood. Both stars steered clear of each other at the picture’s New York premiere and Diesel’s attempt to brush aside the reports of a beef between the actors left something to be desired.

Reviews were also weaker. IndieWire’s David Ehrlich labeled the film the worst of the series, while the Los Angeles Times’ Justin Chang argued the franchise had jumped the shark, or in this case, the nuclear submarine. That’s not to say there weren’t some loud advocates. Variety‘sOwen Gleiberman, for instance, praised the picture as a “dazzling action spectacle.” Audiences agreed, handing “The Fate of the Furious” an A CinemaScore.

Beyond Johnson, Diesel, Mirren, and Theron, “The Fate of the Furious” brings back franchise veterans Kurt Russell, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Statham, and Michelle Rodriguez. F. Gary Gray, fresh off the success of “Straight Outta Compton,” slid into the director’s chair. The film follows the crew as they grapple with Diesel’s betrayal and alliance with a mysterious hacker (Theron). The “Fast and Furious” series has been lauded for including a multi-ethnic cast of characters and for providing meaty roles for women at a time when Hollywood movies have been slammed for its lack of diversity. That has resulted in an audience that hails from a wide array of ethnic backgrounds, with Hispanics making up 26% of the audience, African-American’s comprising 19% of the crowd, and Asians accounting for 11% of ticket sales. Men were 58% of ticket buyers,.

“These films invite people in from all over the world,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s domestic distribution chief. “There’s a holistic approach to this series that speaks to success through inclusion.”

Universal didn’t provide a budget, but sources peg the cost at $250 million, making it the most expensive chapter in the series. Despite the rising costs, the film remains on pace to top $1 billion worldwide, making future sequels a certainty.

Fox and DreamWorks Animation’s “The Boss Baby” was a distant second place, bringing in $15.5 million to push the family film’s domestic gross to $116.3 million. Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” nabbed third, taking in $13.6 million to push its stateside haul to a mighty $454.7 million. Globally, the fairy tale remake has soared past the $1 billion mark.

Sony’s “Smurfs: The Lost Village” came in fourth with $6.5 million, pushing the animated film’s North American total to an anemic $24.7 million. With a $60 million budget, the third Smurfs film will need to resonate strongly with foreign audiences if it wants to make a profit.

New Line’s “Going in Style” rounded out the top five, earning $6.3 million. The comedy about a trio of aging bank robbers stars Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, and Michael Caine. It has grossed $23.4 million, nearly matching its $24 million production budget.

Most studios steered clear of “The Fate of the Furious,” but there was one brave newcomers opening in limited release. Amazon Studios and Bleecker Street debuted “The Lost City of Z” in four theaters, where it picked up $112,633. The film follows an adventurer (Charlie Hunnam) as he plunges deep into the Amazon in search of glory.

More Film

  • wanda Movie Metropolis Qingdao

    Why Simon West is Making Movies in China (EXCLUSIVE)

    British director Simon West (“Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Con Air,” “The Expendables 2”) is set to further into the Middle Kingdom at the helm of his second Chinese action-adventure blockbuster. The Wanda-backed “The Legend Hunters,” hits theaters next summer. West was brought onto the project by veteran producer Eryong, who had approached him about a [...]

  • The Eight Hundred

    History Rethink Group Key to 'Eight Hundred' Shanghai Cancellation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chinese authorities may have abruptly yanked Huayi Brothers’ $80 million patriotic war epic “The Eight Hundred” the day before its debut as the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival’s opening film because it didn’t portray rivals of the ruling Communist Party in a sufficiently negative light, local reports said. Huayi on Friday attributed the cancellation of its [...]

  • Simon West

    Simon West Directing Chinese Tomb-Raid Movie “Legend Hunters’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    The British director Simon West, who made Angelina Jolie-starring “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” is now co-directing a Chinese tomb-raiding film. “The Legend Hunters” is the next instalment in the “Mojin” universe based on the popular fantasy novel series “Ghost Blows Out the Light.” Backed by Wanda Pictures and Beijing-based Saints Entertainment, the film is set [...]

  • Emu Runner

    Sydney Film Review: 'Emu Runner'

    Writer-director Imogen Thomas’ debut feature “Emu Runner” has and probably will play in designated family-themed strands of film festivals, and given its story of a 9-year-old Aboriginal girl who deals with grief in the wake of her mother’s death by bonding with a lone female representative of Australia’s largest native bird species, this programming strategy [...]

  • Sophia Antipolis

    Locarno in Los Angeles Film Review: 'Sophia Antipolis'

    There are two Sophias in French director Virgil Vernier’s clever, cunning, chilling fifth feature. The first is its setting, the eponymous “Sophia Antipolis,” a technology park in the south of France, a place self-consciously designed as an experiment in social engineering, where an international community of professionals would, it was hoped, create an environment of [...]

  • I Lost My Body

    Netflix Pickup ‘I Lost My Body,’ ‘Buñuel,’ ‘Away’ Top Annecy Festival

    ANNECY, France  — Fulfilling expectations, Jeremy Clapin’s “I Lost My Body, the subject of one of the highest-profile Netflix deals at this year’s Cannes, won this Saturday the Annecy Festival’s top Cristal Award of best feature plus, in a relatively rare Annecy double whammy, the festival’s Audience Award. The first was expected, the second a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content