After over a year out of theaters, Dwayne Johnson is returning to the box office in Universal’s “Fast & Furious” spinoff “Hobbs & Shaw,” which early box office tracking now project for a $55-65 million opening.
Being a spinoff, early tracking was expected to notably lower than $98.7 million domestic opening of the last “F&F” film, 2017’s “The Fate of the Furious.” Potential competition from “The Lion King” and “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” could also peel off moviegoers when the film hits theaters on Aug. 2.
But there’s still room for growth considering the name recognition of the franchise and the popularity of the film’s two leading stars. For Johnson, this is his first leading role since last summer’s “Skyscraper,” a film that needed help from overseas markets after it only grossed $68 million domestic against a $125 million budget. But as he returns to one of his most popular roles, Johnson’s social media prowess should give “Hobbs & Shaw” a marketing boost in the coming weeks.
More so than “Jurassic World,” the “Fast & Furious” series is Universal’s biggest overseas moneymaker. “The Fate of the Furious” grossed $1 billion outside the U.S. two years ago, accounting for 81% of its $1.23 billion global total. That global interest pushed “The Fate of the Furious” to a $541 million global weekend, then a box office record before the release of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.”
“Hobbs & Shaw” will open in China on August 23.
“Hobbs & Shaw” follows the unlikely alliance of Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Statham), two men who fought on opposite ends of the law but now must team up to stop a cyber-enhanced terrorist (Idris Elba). Vanessa Kirby, Helen Mirren, and Roman Reigns also star in the film, which is directed by David Leitch from a script co-written by longtime “F&F” writer Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce.