“Fate of the Furious” Cruises to First Place


April 14-16, 2017

(estimates from BoxOfficeMojo.com)



The Fate of the Furious  $100.1 million
The Boss Baby $15.5 million
Beauty and the Beast $13.6 million
Smurfs: The Lost Village  $6.5 million
Going in Style $6.3 million


The Fate of the Furious had absolutely no competition this weekend, so it left all the older movies in the dust, opening with an estimated $100.1 million. Obviously, that's the second-biggest opening of the year behind Beauty and the Beast, and a pretty monster debut on its own. But compared to 2015's Furious 7, that's way off. That film had a perfect storm of hype, including fans curious to see how the film would honor the memory of star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash before the movie was finished. That entry opened with about $47 million more than this one, proving bigger doesn't always mean better.

But there's no reason anyone involved should be disappointed, though. The film just had the biggest worldwide opening weekend of all time. Yes, even bigger than Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Even though that's surprising, there's a lot of reasons this happened. For starters, this is by far the most diverse blockbuster franchise. Even the biggest comic book movies or YA adaptation have mostly white casts, but just about every nationality is represented in these movies. Plus, you don't need to speak English, Arabic, Spanish or even Mandarin to understand how awesome it looks to have cars outrunning missiles and submarines.

Meanwhile, The Boss Baby officially passed Fifty Shades Darker on the yearly haul, and will probably finish just under $150 million. Smurfs: The Lost Village and Going in Style both fell an average amount in their second weekends, and are likely to recoup their costs on home video and streaming more than in theaters.

Outside the top 5:

  • This Weekend's Indie Champ: The Lost City of Z, James Gray's epic adventure story based on the life of British explorer Percy Fawcett. The Amazon-financed film about the Amazon averaged a strong $28,158 on four screens.
  • Gifted played to its strengths. The heartfelt drama about a child prodigy and a trial for her custody went wide, earning $3 million, good for a 572 percent increase.
  • Ghost in the Shell continued its free-fall, slipping outside the top 10 with only $37 million in the bank.

Next week: Nothing that will keep The Fate of the Furious from repeating at the top with at least $45 million. Its biggest competition is the laughable erotic thriller Unforgettable, starring Katherine Heigl as a jealous ex-wife trying to kill stepmom Rosario Dawson. But if I had my way, Free Fire would be the No. 1 movie next week, a wild comedy starring Brie Larson and Armie Hammer about an arms deal gone wrong.


About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney
Like many film critics born during and after the 1980s, my hero is Roger Ebert. The man was already the best critic in the nation when he won the Pulitzer in 1975, but his indomitable spirit during and after his recent battle with cancer keeps me coming back to read not only his reviews but his insightful commentary on the everyday. But enough about a guy you know a lot about. I knew I was going to be a film critic—some would say a snob—in middle school, when I had to voraciously defend my position that The Royal Tenenbaums was only a million times better than Adam Sandler’s remake of Mr. Deeds. From then on, I would seek out Wes Anderson’s films and avoid Sandler’s like the plague. Still, I like to think of myself as a populist, and I’ll be just as likely to see the next superhero movie as the next Sundance sensation. The thing I most deplore in a movie is laziness. I’d much rather see movies with big ambitions try and fail than movies with no ambitions succeed at simply existing. I’m also a big advocate of fun-bad movies like The Room and most of Nicolas Cage’s work. In the past, I’ve written for The Dallas Morning News and the North Texas Daily, which I edited for a semester. I also contributed to Dallas-based Pegasus News, which in the circle of life, is now part of The Dallas Morning News, where I got my big break in 2007. Eventually, I’d love to write and talk about film full-time, but until that’s a viable career option, I work as an auditor for Wells Fargo. I hope to one day meet my hero, go to the Toronto International Film Festival, and compete on Jeopardy. Until then, I’m excited to share my love of film with you.

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