×
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

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Soars to Record-Breaking $60 Million Opening in North America

    Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” has opened astronomically in North America with a record $60 million in Thursday night preview showings. It’s the top domestic preview number of all time, besting “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at $57 million in 2015. Anticipation has been sky high this year for fourth and final Avengers movie. “Avengers: Endgame” will [...]

  • Sophia Anne Caruso and Alex Brightman'Beetlejuice'

    'Beetlejuice' Musical Team Hopes to Attract New Audiences to Broadway

    In the new Broadway adaptation of Tim Burton’s 1988 cult classic film “Beetlejuice,” teenager Lydia takes center-stage alongside the titular gut-busting demon (Alex Brightman) to reflect the famed goth girl’s journey through Beetlejuice’s funhouse of death and disaster. “I think so many people connect to “Beetlejuice” because it’s a story of outsiders, Lydia being the center of [...]

  • Chris Hemsworth'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Is Chris Hemsworth Ready to Leave the 'Avengers' Franchise?

    Chris Hemsworth isn’t exactly sure when he’ll leave the “Avengers” franchise. “There will come a day,” the “Thor” star told me when we sat down to chat for the second episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s new film podcast. “Whether it’s now or in the future, I don’t know…Who knows what the sort [...]

  • Michael B. JordanLAFH Awards 2019, Los

    Michael B. Jordan, Ronda Rousey Join Efforts to Help the Homeless

    Michael B. Jordan and WWE star Ronda Rousey were just two of the powerhouses that gathered in Hollywood Thursday night for the Los Angeles Family Housing’s annual fundraising celebration. The live-auction event, which brought together hundreds of top industry executives, philanthropists, and government partners, aimed to raise $2 million for LAFH, which builds permanent housing [...]

  • Sinemia

    Sinemia Shuts Down U.S. Movie-Ticket Subscription Service

    Sinemia, a would-be rival to MoviePass, is closing down its U.S. operations — telling customers it could not find “a path to sustainability” amid legal headaches, competitive pressures and the challenging economics of the business model. The company announced the shutdown in a notice on its website Thursday. “While we are proud to have created [...]

  • 'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of

    'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of Possibilities,' Will Make You Cry

    The Thursday evening conversation between game-making auteur Hideo Kojima and “Walking Dead” actor Norman Reedus about highly-anticipated PlayStation 4 game “Death Stranding” was filled with interesting anecdotes, but little in the way of hard fact. Instead, Kojima made a promise of sorts to the audience and seemingly fans everywhere waiting for more news on the [...]

  • Trailer for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Entry

    Watch: Trailer for Cannes Directors’ Fortnight Entry ‘Song Without a Name’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID — Peru’s La Vida Misma and Paris-based sales agent Luxbox have dropped the first trailer and poster of Melina Leon’s “Canción sin nombre” (“Song Without a Name”), selected this week for the Cannes Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight. Written by Leon and Michael J. White, “Song Without a Name” sums up some of ambitions and focus [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content