The Fate of the Furious will have no problem holding onto the top spot for the second weekend in a row as a crop of mostly weak newcomers isn’t enough to kill its momentum.
After breaking records last weekend with a global opening of $532 million, The Fate of the Furious will continue its global dominance in weekend 2. Although weekend actuals had the film opening at $98.7 million (below the $100.2 million estimated gross) it was still the second best opening of the franchise (after Furious 7) and it benefits this weekend from a lack of competition. Needless to say, some people will go for repeat viewings when nothing else is out and it could get attention from people who wanted to avoid the opening weekend rush last weekend. Essentially it has the box office to itself until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens on May 5th and I think it could pull in about $50-55 million for weekend 2.
The only newcomer that could possibly make an impression is Unforgettable, which stars Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigl. The story centers on a scorned ex-wife played by Katherine Heigl who pathologically torments her husband’s new mate (Rosario Dawson). This isn’t being screened ahead of release for critics (never a good sign) but movies like this have been known to tap into its female demographic and open decently before falling off a cliff but weekend 2. The budget on this is $12 million and I honestly think it could match that this weekend with a $12 million opening.
Our next opener is The Promise, which is set during the Armenian Genocide and centered on a love triangle made up of Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon, and Christian Bale. The film’s politics caught the attention of a Turkish message board, similar to Reddit that sent trolls flocking to leave one-star reviews for the movie on IMDb. On Wednesday before the film was released, The Promise had amassed over 120,000 reviews — a combination of haters and a reaction from supporters to rate the film highly. The film has a 39% rotten score on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing and I think it’ll be lucky to reach about $5 million for the weekend. Even though that’s harsh for a film with a $90 million budget, the socially conscious film from Open Road Films on behalf of Survival Pictures has pledged to donate all proceeds to philanthropy. Its backers are more interested in raising awareness than they are in making money.
The next two releases include Phoenix Forgotten & Free Fire. Phoenix Forgotten is a sci-fi horror film from Cinelou Films and the directorial debut of Justin Barber. Centered around a real-world claim of a UFO sighting in the ’90s, the movie should earn about $2 million and that’s generous since I didn’t know this existed until I saw a billboard for it a few days ago. Ben Wheatley’s British action-comedy Free Fire, distributed in the U.S. by A24, aims to pick up about $3 million for the weekend and maybe pick up decent word of mouth due to its current 79% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Check back on Monday to see the final box office results!