“F9” has gone from zero to $100 million in record post-pandemic time, hitting the domestic milestone on its second Friday in theaters, as the blockbuster has combined with newcomers “The Boss Baby: Family Business” and “The Forever Purge,” to give Universal the top three spots on this July 4th box office weekend.
The studio boasts that this is the first time a studio has done a podium sweep on the weekend charts since Sony in February 2005 — and the first time Universal has achieved it since the release of the Al Pacino thriller “Sea of Love” in September 1989. Such a feat is so uncommon because studios generally space out the releases of their films to avoid having them compete with each other for audience attention.
But with “Black Widow” coming out next weekend, Universal has decided to release a DreamWorks Animation family film and a Blumhouse horror film to serve as blockbuster counterprogramming. Neither film has knocked “F9” off the top spot, as the film grossed $8.1 million to pass the $100 million mark and is estimated to earn $24 million over the 3-day period. When Monday estimates are included, that total rises to $32 million for an overall domestic cume of $126 million.
“Boss Baby: Family Business” is in second on the charts, with estimates giving the sequel a three-day opening of just under $20 million and a 4-day opening of $26.3 million from 3,644 screens. That’s significantly lower than the $50 million opening earned by the first “Boss Baby” in spring 2017, but it was to be expected as the film has also been released as a streaming title on Peacock for no extra charge. The film had been projected by Universal for a $15 million 3-day launch prior to release.
“The Forever Purge” will take third with an estimated $13 million 3-day/$16.2 million 4-day launch from 3,051 screens. While comparisons are difficult right now for any film because of the pandemic, it’s particularly difficult for the “Purge” series, as the last installment, “The First Purge,” opened on a Wednesday to coincide with July 4 in 2018, earning $31 million in an extended 5-day launch. Regardless, “The Forever Purge” is opening above $9-10 million pre-release projections and will quickly turn a profit given its reported $18 million production budget.
Both “Boss Baby 2” and “The Forever Purge” got mixed reviews from critics, earning 48% and 46% respectively on Rotten Tomatoes. Families have embraced “Boss Baby 2” with an A on CinemaScore and 90% RT audience score, while audience metrics for “The Forever Purge” were more muted with a B- on CinemaScore — same as “The First Purge” — and 78% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Completing the Top 5 are Paramount’s “A Quiet Place — Part II” and Lionsgate’s “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” with respective 4-day estimates of $6 million and $4 million. That puts “Quiet Place II” at a domestic total of $146 million while “Bodyguard” has a total of $32 million after three weekends.