It’s official: Universal has inducted a new member into the billion-dollar club with The Fate of the Furious, F. Gary Gray‘s wildly idiotic entry in the Fast & Furious franchise. The blockbuster, which followed in the footsteps of James Wan‘s giddily entertaining Furious 7, which took in $1.52 billion internationally, held onto the top spot for its third frame this weekend with $19.6 million domestically while it stands $1.06 billion at the global box currently. The movie itself is a profanely misogynistic mess but there’s simply no avoiding the victory here, especially for Gray, the first African-American director to helm a movie in the billion-dollar club. Indeed, the most apparent upside to this success is that it may very well allow Gray to make more substantive movies like Straight Outta Compton soon.
This is the story that will be dominating all coverage of the box office this weekend but there’s enough reason to take this all with a grain of salt. If anything, the triumph of The Fate of the Furious should serve as a sobering reminder that the monetary take of a movie has exactly zero bearing on the quality of the film, even if that fact has been evident for decades now. And a year will not go by in the future without one or two movies at least crossing the billion-dollar mark, making the speciality of such an honor just a bit diminished in the scope of all this. In other words, the box office story of the year is still the stunning success of Jordan Peele‘s Get Out, not another abysmal marketed-to-death blockbuster making a prophet despite it’s absurdly gigantic budget.
And below the number one spot, there was plenty to be fascinated by over the weekend at the box office. While James Ponsoldt‘s The Circle floundered with $9.3 million in total domestically, landing it in fourth place, two unexpected hits have risen from a more targeted marketing landscape with How to Be a Latin Lover and Baahubali: The Conclusion landing in the second and third place respectively. The Eugenio Derbez comedy vehicle took in $12 million while Baahubali 2 came in with $10.1 million, and both were fronted by a cast made up primarily of people of color, a supposed no-no in Hollywood. In fact, this is also true of The Fate of the Furious, which is perhaps its only redeeming quality on the political side. They were movies targeted to selective demographics rather than something like The Boss Baby, which came in fifth with $9 million in its fourth frame, or The Fate of the Furious, both of which lose their tone and coherence in hopes of hitting as many demos as possible. Neither are likely to come within a country mile of $1 billion but if we only think about the numbers here, the point of making movies is indeed a lost cause.
Here’s your top five at the domestic box office:
|Title||Weekend Box Office||Total Domestic Box Office|
|1. ‘The Fate of the Furious’||$19,389,780||$192,721,355|
|2. ‘How to Be a Latin Lover’||$12,018,500||$12,018,500|
|3. ‘Baahubali: The Conclusion’||$10,138,189||$10,138,189|
|4. ‘The Circle’||$9,320,000||$9,320,000|
|5. ‘The Boss Baby’||$9,050,000||$148,465,584|