As expected, “The Fate of the Furious” is on its way to a third consecutive No. 1 weekend at the box office in the final days of April. Universal’s eighth “Fast & Furious” film made $5 million in its third Friday in theaters and is estimated to make a third frame total of $18.5 million, bringing its domestic total to $191.8 million by Sunday’s end. The film currently has a worldwide cume of $972 million.
With “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” expected to take over theaters next weekend, studios have largely decided to play it safe the past couple weeks, with lower budget fare dominating the release slate. But Pantelion and Lionsgate’s new comedy, “How to Be a Latin Lover,” has performed above expectations this weekend. Building off the popularity of its lead stars Eugenio Derbez and Salma Hayek, the film made $3.9 million from its targeted opening yesterday of 1,118 screens, putting it on track to blow past the $7 million pre-weekend projection it was given by trackers and finish with an opening between $12-13 million.
Pantelion’s “How to Be a Latin Lover” is a comedy from director Ken Marino that stars 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.The film is written by Chris Spain and Jon Zack and also stars Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell and Rob Riggle.
Performing less spectacularly was STX and EuropaCorp’s “The Circle,” which has seen the star power of its leading duo, Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, get overpowered by overwhelmingly poor reviews. Projections for the film ranged between $10-13 million, but after a $3.2 million opening Friday, estimates have “The Circle” making $9 million.
Based on the 2013 novel by Dave Eggers (who shares writing credit here), “The Circle” stars Watson as the newest employee of the titular Silicon Valley company owned by charismatic tycoon Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks). Soon, she’s drawn into a secret project at The Circle that threatens to destroy privacy for good.
Though the film sports a huge A-list cast including John Boyega, Patton Oswalt, Karen Gillan and the late Bill Paxton, it was panned by critics, who gave it a 16 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating. Audience surveys from CinemaScore were just as abysmal, with the film getting a D+. “The Circle” had a budget of $18 million and was bought by EuropaCorp for $8 million.
“The Boss Baby” and “Beauty and the Beast” were expected to round out the top five, with “Baby” making an estimated $8.1 million and “Beauty” making an estimated $6 million. Instead, “Beauty and the Beast” was bumped out of the top five by an unexpected newcomer: “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion,” a Bollywood blockbuster from Great India Films that is the sequel to the 2015 film “Baahubali: The Beginning.”
“Baahubali” has become a massive franchise in India, and the sequel has received positive reviews as well. In the U.S., “Baahubali 2” made a whopping $4.5 million from just 415 screens, putting it on pace to make around $9 million this weekend and possibly take the No. 3 spot from “The Circle” depending on Friday-to-Saturday holdovers.