Easter Box Office: Will we ever get past “Furious”?


Another opening weekend, another epic turnout for another “Fast and the Furious” film.

Jeebus, what’s it going to take for “you people” to get over this damned franchise? Eight films, a new villain (and an Oscar winner,this time) and you show up, expecting things to be different? $100 million Easter weekend for “The Fate of the Furious.”

I had a modest interest in a couple of these, always liked Michelle Rodriguez and Paul Walker, Statham and The Rock. Vin Diesel? Luckiest man in show business. He won’t stop making these until they pry the steering wheel from his cold, dead hands.

Year-long hype, a load of box office draws in the supporting cast (Dwayne Johnson, “here for the paycheck,” Jason Statham,  and for the old folks, Kurt Russell. Luke Evans? Nothing better to do?) and a lot of car stunts that involve a lot of digital assistance in defying the laws of physics. Same old, same. Old.

These movies are like four-corner check boxes of movie marketing. “Hispanic actors? (biggest share of the audience) Check. Ex-rappers and falling stock African American actors? Check. Another generation of hot new ‘starlets’ to stand next to the cars? Check. Asian actors? Well, not this time. But again. And soon. Can Donnie Yen drive?”

I come for the cars, the vintage ones are my favorites. But once they took Rodriguez out of that Jensen Interceptor, that was enough for me. Even though there’s are an Aston, Bentley, Rolls and Lada and Lambo in this one. An old Chevy or three (’60s Corvette), that tasty ’70 or so Dodge Charger. But Car Porn. Just say no, people.

Anyway, $100 million (US) is a 50% drop off from the last Paul Walker “Fast,” so there’s hope. The franchise is so top heavy at this point that any plummet in the take the second weekend means the “next” one could be in jeopardy. All those actors, all those locations and all those effects cost money, international take be damned.

Meanwhile, not to get all high road on Universal, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” remake is closing in on $500 million, “Boss Baby” is well over $100 million in the US.

“Smurfs” officially bombed, in the US. “Get Out” looks as if its final take will be in the $175 million range, which is outstanding.

“Power Rangers” won’t reach $100, “Gifted” opened wider and still only hit the $3 million mark, “Going in Style” didn’t tear the AARP set away from Fox News, “Case for Christ” is slow to fall off, but one week past Easter, it will lose screens and fade. It should clear $10, but no more than $14.


About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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2 Responses to Easter Box Office: Will we ever get past “Furious”?

  1. Nick Rogers says:

    If you knew anything about box office reporting whatsoever — instead of publishing grumpy, boring blather — you’d perhaps note that while the domestic take was in fact down from the previous film, “The Fate of the Furious” made more than a half-billion dollars (not a typo unlike the ones in your article above) worldwide in three days. In fact, it brought in more in its global opening weekend than did “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (although that film did not, as this one did, open in China right away). But your casually dismissive racial language (“you people”) tells me you’re not the sort to really consider how other markets besides those in the United States might factor into film studios’ financial decisions. Better luck next time.

    • The movies are repetitive garbage, which is my very obvious point, and cynical exercises in marketing, not inspired movie making. Yeah, they’re huge in the Third World. For now. The US take is dropping for a reason. Not that you’d care to hear. Nobody with the least bit of discernment cares one whit about these. Which is my other point. Also missed. By you.

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