Box Office: ‘The Circle’ Won’t Out-Drive ‘Fate of the Furious,’ ‘Guardians Vol. 2’ to Fly High Overseas

Emma Watson, Tom Hanks tech thriller opens in U.S. and Canada. Will “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” top $80 million on international debut?

As “The Fate of the Furious” enters its third weekend approaching the $1 billion mark, STX and EuropaCorp are entering cinemas on the final weekend before summer movie season with “The Circle,” the Emma Watson/Tom Hanks thriller about a Silicon Valley project that could destroy privacy for good.

Last weekend, “Fate” made $38.4 million domestically in its second weekend, which should put its third frame somewhere between $15-19 million if it takes a drop-off between 50-60 percent. By comparison, “Fast & Furious 6” made $19.4 million in its third weekend after making $35.6 in its second frame, a drop-off of 44 percent. “The Circle,” meanwhile, is projected by independent trackers to make around $13 million. That makes “Fate” the favorite to hold on to No. 1 for one more weekend, though “Circle” does have a small chance to take it if “Fate” takes a bigger drop-off than expected.

Based on the 2013 novel by Dave Eggers, “The Circle” stars Watson as Mae Holland, the newest employee of The Circle, a powerful social media company founded by charismatic tech guru Eamon Bailey (Hanks) and his partner Tom Stelton (Patton Oswalt). To gain further standing in the company, Mae takes part in The Circle’s top priority project which could forever change the standards of privacy and personal freedom. Soon, a mysterious colleague (John Boyega) approaches Mae and asks her to help him shut down the project, which soon comes to impact those Mae holds dear.

The film is directed by James Ponsoldt, who also co-wrote the script with Eggers. The cast also features Ellar Coltrane, Glenne Headly, Nate Corddry, Karen Gillan, Patton Oswalt and the late Bill Paxton. It is the first wide release in STX and EuropaCorp’s 3-year distribution deal, which also includes the summer sci-fi film “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.” “The Circle” will be released in 3,163 screens and is projected by STX for a double-digit opening.

Also releasing this week is Pantelion’s “How to Be A Latin Lover,” a comedy from director Ken Marino that stars Eugenio Derbez as Maximo, a womanizer who marries older women for their money and gets the shock of his life when his 80-year-old wife of 25 years suddenly divorces him for a younger car salesman.

With nowhere else to go, he moves in with his estranged sister Sara (Salma Hayek) and his nephew Hugo (Raphael Alejandro), who has a crush on a girl in school. When Maximo discovers the girl’s grandmother is filthy rich, he tries to rediscover his charming ways to schmooze his way back into the lap of luxury. The film is written by Chris Spain and Jon Zack and also stars Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, and Rob Riggle. Trackers have the film making $7 million this weekend.

Meanwhile, on the international side, Disney is rolling out “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” in 28 countries this week, starting today with openings in Australia and Italy. A sizable overseas opening has been common for Marvel films, with “Captain America: Civil War” opening in 35 markets last year the weekend prior to its domestic release.

Disney doesn’t have projections for this week, though “Vol. 2” is expected to easily exceed the $64.6 million the 2014 original made from openings in this suite of markets. Other countries getting “Guardians” this week include France, Germany, Brazil, Spain, Hong Kong, Mexico, and the U.K. Disney is projecting a domestic opening next weekend of $130-150 million, with independent trackers currently estimating an opening on the higher end of that range.