April 29, 2017

EARLY FRIDAY BOX OFFICE: “Fate” Wins Again, but “Latin Lover” & “Baahubali 2″” Solid; “The Circle” Flattens


THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS (Universal) will win its third consecutive box office weekend, but in the US it continues to run with considerably less than vroom-vroom momentum.  According to preliminary numbers at Deadline, it fell 54% from last Friday to $5.1M, and is heading for a $18M weekend.  It’s now clear that Fate will end up around $220M in the US, which is not only 38% below Furious 7, but also about 8% below 2013’s Fast & Furious 6.  Much of this shortfall will be made up by its massive overseas haul, but the results as the franchise goes on may be less impressive.

None of the weekend’s newcomers mounted a serious challenge to Fate, but there were a pair of impressive smaller-scale openings.  HOW TO BE A LATIN LOVER (Pantelion/Lionsgate) launched at a mid-wide 1118 theatres (just 27% of Fate‘s footprint) and earned $3.6M on opening day, which should translate into an $11M+ weekend, since the Latin-American audience is heavy on post-church Sunday moviegoing.  That’s not quite the per-theatre average of star Eugenio Derbez’s 2013 Instructions Not Included, which took in $7.8M in its first weekend at only 348 theatres, but it’s notable nonetheless.

Another niche sleeper is BAAHUBALI 2 (GINF), in a limited 405-theatre start, which reached $4.8M on opening day ($2.5M of it from Thursday night).  As that last number indicates, Baahubali 2 looks to be very frontloaded, but it could still get to $9M for the weekend, a per-theatre average of $22K.

The weekend’s flop arrival is its widest at 3163 theatres, THE CIRCLE (Europa/Image Nation Abu Dhabi/STX), with $3.3M on Friday and a weekend that may struggle to $9M.  Even though its costs were moderate, they’ll still add up to $60M worldwide for production and marketing, and the US result won’t recoup much of that.  Reportedly Europa and Image Nation will bear most of the likely loss, with STX serving as a distributor for hire.

SLEIGHT (Blumhouse/BH Tilt) opened in a barely-wide 565 theatres with a $500K Friday and an unmagical $1.5M weekend ahead.

Last weekend’s failures didn’t look any better a week later.  BORN IN CHINA (Disney) fell 53% from last Friday to $750K, for a $2M weekend and a US total that may not get to $15K.  UNFORGETTABLE (RatPac/Warners) had a Friday-to-Friday plunge of 63% to $600K, for a $2M weekend, and a US total that will have to stretch for $13M.  THE PROMISE (Open Road) had the bottom drop out to the tune of a 70% drop from last Friday to $400K, for a $1.5M weekend and a sub-$10M US total.  PHOENIX FORGOTTEN (Cinelou) fared no better, down 70% to $200K and a US total unlikely to reach $5M.  FREE FIRE (A24) remained at the bottom, down a horrific 80% from last Friday to under $100K, perhaps unable to touch $2M in the US.

Back among the films selling tickets, the holdovers below Fate were led by the family movie veterans.  THE BOSS BABY (DreamWorks Animation/20th) slipped 39% from last Friday to $2M, for a $8M weekend and a $160M+ US total.  BEAUTY & THE BEAST (Disney) was down 38% from last Friday to $1.6M for a $6M weekend and a US total that looks as though it will run out of road just short of $500M.

GIFTED (Fox Searchlight) padded its theatre count by about 10% and dropped 36% from last Friday to $900K, for a $3M weekend and a US total in the low $20Ms.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."