The box office top 3 remain unchanged on this sluggish weekend, with “The Fate of the Furious” holding on to the top spot for a second weekend after grossing $11 million on Friday.
Universal Pictures now projects a $35 million second frame for its high-octane car flick, which would come out to a 64 percent drop from its $98.8 million domestic opening.
That may seem steep, but it’s par for the course for this franchise. “Fast Five” took a 62 percent drop from its $86 million opening in 2011, while “Fast & Furious 6” had a nearly identical performance to “Fate,” making $35 million in its second frame after a $97 million opening in 2013.
Of course, “Furious 7,” which looks to be the outlier in this franchise after the extra bump in audience attention from Paul Walker’s death, made $59 million in its second frame after an April record $147 million opening, keeping its drop off to just below 60 percent.
Of course, the big money for this franchise is in the overseas markets, and “Fate” is proving that by becoming the fastest Universal film to gross $750 million internationally.
Universal is projecting a worldwide cume of $912 million by the time the weekend is over, putting it on pace to pass the $1 billion mark next week. The film opens in Japan on April 28.
In second place this weekend is DreamWorks Animation’s “The Boss Baby,” making $3.1 million on its fourth Friday to set a weekend estimate of $11 million. Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is hanging on in third with $2.6 million in its sixth Friday, bringing its domestic cume to $463 million.
Outside the top 3 are a menagerie of holdovers and new releases that look to have a weekend somewhere in the $4-5 million range. The film with the highest-grossing Friday in this batch of five is Warner Bros’ “Unforgettable,” a love triangle thriller starring Katherine Heigl as a recently divorced woman whose anger at her ex-husband and his new wife takes a psychopathic turn.
The film made $1.66 million from 2,417 screens on Friday, but was panned by critics and audiences alike, receiving 24 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and a C- on CinemaScore.
Much better received was Disneynature’s “Born in China,” a documentary by Lu Chuan and narrated by John Krasinski about wildlife in the Middle Kingdom. The doc made $1.5 million from 1,508 screens and scored an A- CinemaScore grade and an 83 percent RT rating.
The third new release to crack the top ten this weekend is Open Road’s “The Promise,” which stars Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale in a love triangle set against the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the start of the Armenian Genocide.
The film, which was directed by Terry George and had a reported budget of $90 million-plus, was released in April instead of Oscar season to coincide with the 102nd anniversary of the genocide, but a weak critical reception — 46 percent on Rotten Tomatoes — helped lead to a modest $1.43 million gross from 2,251 screens on Friday. Those who did see the movie enjoyed it, giving it an A- on CinemaScore.
Among the holdovers looking to stay in the top 5 this weekend are New Line’s “Going in Style,” which made $1.31 million in its third Friday to bring its cume to $28 million, and Fox Searchlight’s “Gifted,” which made $1.36 million in its second weekend in wide release.