Box Office Wrap Up: Weak Weekend.
Despite Fate of the Furious and 5 new movies this week was painfully slow.
Nobody had the new releases picked to unseat F8, but I doubt anyone thought the overall box office would be as weak as it was. Fast and Furious 8 remained on top, but had the kind of second week that would normally spell disaster… if it hadn’t already made double its budget opening night overseas. The rest of the newcomers muddled through, helped along by more modest budgets.
Box Office History.
This weekend does not stack up well historically. Against last week’s total it dropped 40%, and against last year’s total it was down a similar 43%. April is pretty much a dump month now, with Fast and Furious pushing other big budget films into March or May. The only room left over is for smaller titles that appeal to more niche markets and whose budgets allow for more modest expectations.
A bad week in April isn’t too shocking, but the margin raises eyebrows. This is the second worst week of the year, narrowly edging out the first week in February. Looking back a decade, this is the third lowest overall box office performance for this week. Further, April 2017 looks to be especially anemic: the current total of 43 releases is the lowest number since 2001, and the overall earnings of 279 million domestically is the worst showing for the month since 1996. Ouch.
Fate of the Furious remained the top grossing film, though it took quite a tumble. Earnings were down 60%, which is on the high side for a AAA release. If it weren’t for the monumental overseas earnings of this picture, it would actually be in trouble based on domestic numbers.
Second and third place also carried over from last week, with The Boss Baby and Beauty and the Beast remaining locked into the top three.
Fourth place went to Disney’s Born in China. With a take of 5 million, the film hardly moved the needle. It is the seventh best Disney Nature release debut, and it performed right in line with other documentaries in the genre. Budget data was not available, but other similar films in the studio’s history cost about 5 million to produce, making this a wash.
Unforgettable, an erotic thriller featuring Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson, managed a seventh place outing with just shy of 5 million dollars. It earned on the low side for this type of film, especially if you compare it with any of the Jennifer Lopez led films of the last decade. This seems like a genre that is currently on lockdown for J. Lo.
Historical drama The Promise faltered out of the gate. It managed a 9th place showing with a paltry 4 million dollars in domestic earnings. Against a 90 million dollar budget, this film is going to have to hope for either a big foreign following or a strong second wind during awards season.
Found footage alien flick, Phoenix Forgotten, got lost out in the desert and never heard from again. It failed to find any space on the top ten, and made only 2 million dollars…but only cost 2.8 million dollars to make. So hooray for low expectations!
Finally, the last new release, Free Fire, shot itself in the foot. The star heavy crime thriller massively underperformed, earning just one million dollars against a 10 million dollar budget. Word of mouth is lukewarm, so this flick is unlikely to seal the deal.
Top Ten Movies.
1. The Fate of the Furious (38.6)
2. The Boss Baby (12.7)
3. Beauty and the Beast (9.9)
4. Born in China (5.1)
5. Going in Style (5.0)
6. Smurfs: The Lost Village (4.8)
7. Unforgettable (4.8)
8. Gifted (4.5)
9. The Promise (4.0)
10. The Lost City of Z (2.1)