For the fourth weekend in a row, Furious 7 is the number one movie at the domestic box office. That puts the film in rarified company, as only the fourth film of the past decade to spend four consecutive weeks in first place. The other three four-time champions were Avatar, The Dark Knight and The Hunger Games. To give credit where it’s due, Avatar actually spent seven weeks in first place in 2009-2010 (what were we all thinking back then?) and Guardians of the Galaxy had four wins last summer – just not in a row.
According to studio estimates, Furious 7 earned another $18.2 million between Friday and Sunday, or a drop of just 37% over last weekend. That brings the film’s domestic total to $320.5 million after 24 days. But the real story continues to be F7’s momentum overseas. Already the fastest film to break $1 billion in global sales (17 days), Furious 7 has now earned $1 billion from its international territories alone. With over $1.3 billion in total, the film has surpassed Frozen to become the fifth highest-grossing movie of all time worldwide. At this point, a final gross of $1.4 billion seems likely, which would put Furious 7 behind only Avatar, Titanic and Marvel’s The Avengers on the list of all-time global hits.
And speaking of The Avengers, have you heard that the sequel is due to hit theatres next weekend? Marvel’s publicity efforts have been a little low-key so don’t feel bad if it slipped your mind. In case you are anticipating Avengers: Age of Ultron, I can tell you that early projections have the sequel opening on par with its predecessor, which claimed a record $207.4 million in 2012. Of course, given the infamous ‘Avengers bump’ that greeted the last three titles from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier) it wouldn’t be surprising if Ultron wound up setting a new record with, say, $215 million. Then again, no one wants to be the one to make a box office prediction of that size and get it wrong. Better to be cautiously optimistic and then act like it was all a foregone conclusion when the estimates come in.
Estimates for The Age of Adaline came in at $13.3 million, knocking the drama from first place on Friday to third for the weekend. But considering initial projections had the Blake Lively drama earning just $12 million, third place can be seen as a win in this case. Age of Adaline has had mixed reviews (53% on Rotten Tomatoes) but received an A- from CinemaScore audiences, so it’s possible that it will hold well in its sophomore frame.
In its own second weekend, Sony’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 remained in second place. The sequel’s $15.5 million weekend estimate represents a drop of just 35%, which is much better than expected considering Blart’s terrible word of mouth. Then again, I noticed that the film’s Rotten Tomato rating has soared from 0% last weekend to a robust 4% this morning, so perhaps Sony’s luck is starting to turn?
After expanding to 1,255 locations, Ex Machina earned an estimated $5.4 million this weekend. That qualifies as the biggest frame ever for indie distributor A24, whose previous high was the $4.8 million of 2013’s Spring Breakers. Written and directed by Alex Garland (28 Days Later), Ex Machina has now earned just under $7 million in its domestic run.
Here’s how the rest of the top ten looked this weekend:
|2.||Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2||$15,500,000||$43.9|
|3.||The Age of Adaline||$13,375,000||$13.3|
|7.||The Longest Ride||$4,365,000||$30.4|
|10.||Woman in Gold||$3,501,000||$21.6|