For the third week in a row, Furious 7 took the top spot at the box office and made it look easy. Not even a trio of newcomers could slow down the latest entry in the crowd-pleasing action series, which has become the fastest film to reach $1 billion worldwide. On the domestic box office, it’s equally impressive. It’s a juggernaut. A cultural event. At the end of the day, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 may make some money, but it’s making that money in the shadow of a genuine phenomenon.
It was a weekend with only one new wide release and The Longest Ride fought valiantly. Unfortunately, the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation didn’t have the power to overtake DreamWorks Animation’s newest film in its third week of release, and it certainly didn’t have the power to take down Furious 7, which continued its supreme domination of the April box office.
The early estimates for the opening weekend gross of Furious 7 are all over the place and we probably won’t have a definitive number until tomorrow, when the dust finally settles and everyone gets a chance to breathe. However, this one thing we know for sure: the seventh film in the Fast and Furious series didn’t just shatter in-franchise records, it shattered records for any April release.
In one of the strongest box office weekends of 2015 so far, both Home and Get Hard opened strong while Insurgent and Cinderella continued to perform well. This was the rare weekend that literally offered something for everyone, with R-rated comedies and animated family fare exceeding expectations.
What does a movie studio want out of its sequels? Is a sequel a failure if it simply matches its predecessor or does it need to make more money? That’s the big question that’s swirling around Insurgent, which made almost exactly as much as Divergent did one year ago. Seriously: there’s only a $500,000 difference in their opening weekends. So is Insurgent a success or a disappointment?
Suddenly, Disney’s upcoming live action version of Beauty and the Beast is looking like a very wise move. After all, their new take on Cinderella shook the box office out of the doldrums, launching with numbers that feel more at home with the summer than March. Yes, it even took down that might spring movie season titan Liam Neeson.
With some of the year’s biggest movies only a month or two away, the box office seems to have entered a holding pattern. Some of the new releases are minor hits. Others crash and burn. Right now, Hollywood just seems to be crossing their fingers and hoping for the sweet, sweet summer movie season to come along and save them (or at least the April release of Furious 7). In other words, every new release underperformed this weekend.
In terms of sheer numbers, this weekend’s box office wasn’t especially impressive. It was fine and Focus opened well, but there weren’t any broken records. There were no incredible signs of a film growing legs and holding on against the odds. However, there was something else worthy of note: three of the top five films at the box office were R-rated, with 50 percent of the top 10 comprised of R-rated films overall. In an age dominated by the PG-13 rating, this is unique and promising. Could studios start to embrace movies made for adults again? Maybe. Who knows? Let’s look at some numbers.
In news that really shouldn’t surprise anyone with their finger remotely near the pulse of popular culture, 50 Shades of Grey held onto the top spot for the second week in a row, beating out a Kevin Costner Teaches Boys How To Be Men movie, a Sassy Teen Comedy, and a Comedy Sequel That No One Actually Wanted In The First Place. However, this victory does not come without an asterisk or two. As successful as 50 Shades of Grey is, a quick examination of the numbers highlights a movie that will struggle in the weeks ahead.
After months of bad jokes and eye-rolling from the internet hive mind, 50 Shades of Grey has arrived and it’s just as huge as everyone predicted. Any movie adaptation of a book that sold hundreds of millions of copies is going to open big, even if that book/movie in question is a BDSM quasi-romantic drama that has as many fervent detractors as it does admirers. But it was a solid week at the box office overall, with the other new release, Kingsman: The Secret Service, holding its own against a movie that may very well be one of the biggest releases of the year.