At this point there’s little left to say about the overwhelming success of Furious 7. And with two weeks to go before Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theatres, we’ve got so much more time left to say it. We told you yesterday that it took just eight days for Furious 7 to top the final domestic gross of 2011’s Fast Five. Now, after ten days, F7 has officially become the highest-grossing entry in Universal’s fourteen year-old Fast and Furious franchise.
According to studio estimates, Furious 7 earned a reported $60.5 million this weekend and brought its domestic total up to $252.5 million. That beats Universal’s previous franchise high of $238.6 million – earned by Fast & Furious 6 over the course of its 105-day run. If there’s a better illustration of F7’s box office prowess, I’m not sure what it would be.
Though clearly fast out of the gate, there was some talk that Furious 7 would prove front-loaded, and suffer a steep drop in its sophomore frame as a result. For the record, the film’s current estimate translates into a decline of 59%, which is far from disastrous. In fact, though the blockbuster just missed making it into the top ten best second weekends in box office history (it needed to earn more than $62.3 million to claim that particular honor), it wound up with a stronger hold than all previous films in the Fast and Furious franchise since the 2001 original: The Fast and the Furious. By comparison, Fast & Furious 6 was down 64% on its second weekend, while Fast Five dropped 62.4%.
Had other studios stepped up to give Furious 7 some competition this weekend, the film’s sophomore dip may have been steeper. On the other hand, three wide releases opened against the sophomore frame of Captain America: The Winter Soldier on this weekend last year and none managed to unseat the Marvel superhero. Perhaps with that in mind, only Fox offered audiences a new wide release: The Longest Ride.
Based on the seventeenth novel from prolific romance author Nicholas Sparks, The Longest Ride took in an estimated $13.5 million from 3,366 locations in its debut frame. That tops the $10 million that was expected from the PG-13 romance, but is far below the $30.4 million that the Sparks adaptation Dear John claimed in February 2010. Of course, Dear John got a boost from its two stars: Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried. By comparison, The Longest Ride’s Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood are relative unknowns.
Though devoid of legitimately new titles, the box office did make room for three limited release expansions this weekend. After breaking into the top ten a week ago with its debut in 258 theatres, The Weinstein’s Woman in Gold added 1,246 locations in its second frame. Following its expansion, the drama wound up with an estimated $5.8 million, or a per-screen average that was less than half what the film claimed in its debut frame.
The independent feature Danny Collins broke into the top ten this weekend after unrolling slowly over the last three weeks in less than 100 locations. The dark comedy starring Al Pacino brought its screen count up to 739 and claimed an estimated $1.6 million. Also in its third frame of limited release, Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young rounded out the weekend top ten. The comedy starring Ben Stiller earned an estimated $1.37 million from 246 locations and brought its domestic total up to $2.35 million.
Here’s how the top ten played out:
|3.||The Longest Ride||$13,500,000||$13.5|
|7.||Woman in Gold||$5,852,000||$9.3|
|10.||While We’re Young||$1,377,000||$2.35|