Friday Box Office: FURIOUS 7 Still in the Lead Entering Third Weekend

     April 18, 2015

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No surprises here. North America’s number one movie will remain Furious 7 for a third straight weekend. That will make the film the first release of 2015 to three-peat at the box office (because American Sniper was released at the end of 2014). Furious 7 earned an estimated $8.3 million yesterday, which puts it on track for over $25 million this weekend

Worldwide, Furious 7 has already passed $1 billion in sales – the first entry in the fourteen year-old Fast and Furious franchise to hit that mark. Furious 7 is also the first Universal release to hit $1 billion in global sales aside from Jurassic Park, which reached that mark with the help of its 2013 3D re-release. Furious 7 took just 17 days to reach $1 billion, helped significantly by a record-setting opening day in China ($68.8 million) last weekend. That makes Furious 7 the fastest release to ever reach a ‘B’ for billion globally, though keep in mind that Avengers: Age of Ultron will likely make all such accomplishments irrelevant in two weeks or so.

Though Furious 7 continued to dominate, three new nationwide releases also hit theatres on Friday. Sony’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 opened in second place with an estimated $7.3 million. The follow-up to 2009’s surprise hit Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Mall Cop 2 should come close to $23 million this weekend, which is right in-line with pre-release projections.

Universal’s R-rated horror film Unfriended opened in third on Friday with an estimated $6.8 million from 2,739 locations. From executive producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, Insidious), Unfriended is looking at an opening weekend of $15 million or more. That’s a bit less than the $20 million that some expected, but considering the run Universal is having with Furious 7 – and the fact that Unfriended has a reported budget of just $1 million – I’m sure everyone involved is content with a third place finish.

Finally, Earth Day is next week, which must mean that another Disneynature feature is hitting theatres. Since 2009, Disney’s nature documentary offshoot has released six feature films – all in April and all coinciding with Earth Day observances. This year’s offering is Monkey Kingdom, which received the widest release in Disneynature history at just over 2,000 locations. The G-rated documentary also received the highest CinemaScore of this weekend’s new releases (A-) and earned an estimated $1.55 million for a sixth place Friday finish.

Check back tomorrow for complete box office details and the weekend top ten.

 Title Friday Total
1.  Furious 7 $8,300,000 $273.6
2.  Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 $7,300,000 $7.3
3.  Unfriended $6,800,000 $6.8
4.  Home $2,425,000 $134.7
5.  The Longest Ride $2,400,000 $19.1
6.  Monkey Kingdom $1,550,000 $1.55

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