Weekend Box Office Report: ‘The Fate of the Furious’ Highlights a Week of Diversity
You know how culture critics sometimes say you should stop being surprised when diverse films do well at the box office? They may be right, but even the most optimistic pundit probably couldn’t have seen this weekend coming. The tops spots on this weekend’s Box Office Report are a testament to their audiences, proving that Americans are ready to support films that aim for more than just the typical caucasian story of the American dream. Here’s the projected numbers as of Sunday afternoon:
|1||The Fate of the Furious||$19,389,780 (-49.5%)||$4,756||$192,721,355|
|2||How to Be a Latin Lover||$12,018,500||$10,750||$12,018,500|
|3||Baahubali 2: The Conclusion||$10,138,189||$23,855||$10,138,189|
|5||The Boss Baby||$9,050,000 (-28.8%)||$2,420||$148,465,584|
|6||Beauty and the Beast||$6,400,000 (-33.8%)||$2,029||$480,100,233|
|7||Going in Style||$3,580,000 (-27.1%)||$1,297||$37,319,770|
|8||Smurfs: The Lost Village||$3,315,000 (-32.1%)||$1,298||$37,734,501|
Let’s begin with the most predictable title on this list: The Fate of the Furious, which grossed $19.3 million dollars and leads the pack for its third straight week. There’s a fascinating linearity to the Fast and the Furious films: if we begin with Fast Five, the films have increasingly made their money at the international box office, going from 66.5% of their total gross in the international market, to 69.7% (Fast & Furious 6), to 76.7% (Furious 7), to a whopping 81.8% thus far with Fate of the Furious. At this rate, the film will make its budget back on the domestic market and pocket another cool billion around the globe. Dang.
Now things get a little less predictable. In second place this week with $12 million is How to Be a Latin Lover, the new comedy starring Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez. Derbez may not be a household name in a lot of markets, but don’t be fooled: he’s a bonafide star, with Variety naming him the most influential Latino media personality back in 2014. His 2013 film Instructions Not Included also grossed nearly $100 million worldwide on a $5 million budget, making this just the latest time that Derbez has proven himself to audiences outside his native Mexico. This could be the film that solidifies Derbez in Hollywood as well.
In third place with $10.1 million is Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, the much-anticipated sequel to the 2015 Indian fantasy epic Baahubali: The Beginning. S. S. Rajamouli’s original film cost about $28 million to make and grossed more than $100 million worldwide, setting all kind of records in its native India along the way. Again, this may not be a franchise or a filmmaker as familiar in some American markets, but the numbers on this movie are absolutely staggering, with that $10.1 million coming from only 425 domestic theaters. While this gross blows the door off the film’s projections, it’s just further proof that we’ve treated the phrases “American audiences” and “white audiences” interchangeably for too long.
The third and final new release of this weekend is The Circle, which finished in fourth place with $9.3 million. Despite the film’s robust cast — Emma Watson and John Boyega are two of Hollywood’s brightest rising stars and have the box office grosses to prove it — this movie seems to have been done in by negative reviews and a premise that, frankly, probably missed its window by about ten years. The Circle could’ve blown our minds in 2005, but in 2017, the idea of corporations monitoring our data is just an uncomfortable fact of life.
Fifth and sixth place belong to our familiar duo of The Boss Baby ($9 million) and Beauty and the Beast ($6.4 million), two films that have been talked about to death the past few weeks. Going in Style follows in seventh place with $3.5 million, meaning the film has now doubled its budget at the global box office with a little extra room for growth. The Smurfs: The Lost Village follows in eighth with $3.3 million, bringing its domestic total to an unimpressive $37 million but its international total to a much-more-impressive $117 million. Don’t expect to see the Smurf pipeline dry up anytime soon.
Rounding out the Top 10 is Gifted in ninth place with $3.3 million; Fox Searchlight continues to aggressively expand its film, adding 229 theaters this past week and bringing its domestic total up to $15 million. And finally, last but not least, Unforgettable pulls in another $2.3 million to bring its total to $8.8 million. The film should break even when all is said and done, but I’m sure Warner Bros. had more in mind for its domestic thriller.
Before we end, though, let’s also highlight two movies we don’t see on the list that nevertheless should be on your radar. First up is Sleight, the twisty superhero-slash-magic movie that finished in 14th with $1.69 million (despite a budget of only $250k). While it’s certainly possible that Blumhouse will expand J.D. Dillard’s movie in the weeks to come, this is already a pretty solid return on the investment for the studio. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opened internationally this weekend and has also put up impressive numbers, grossing $101.2 million in its opening weekend. That’s roughly a fourth of the first film’s entire domestic gross ($440m), meaning that global audiences have jumped on board everyone’s favorite a-holes.