Box Office: How fast will “Furious” fade?

fate1It cleared $100 million on its opening weekend and has no major fresh competition to face on this, its second week of release.

So how much of that opening weekend audience will disappear for “The Fate of the Furious?”

Box Office Mojo figures it’ll drop according to the averages of the series, with the seventh film (the last one) being an exception to that rule. Figure $35 million, with a 65% drop.

Box Office Mojo thinks “buzz is good” (reviews weren’t awful) and that it’ll hold more audience, maybe a $39 million weekend.

That sets up expectations, so anything under $30 will mean the word of mouth on this Paul Walker-less sequel is already out of gas. I’m expecting the tumble to be Madea Movie steep — 65-70%. I got to this one late and saw it in a mostly-empty theater.

Reviews of “Unforgettable” aren’t strong enough to correct a low audience awareness of this cat fight thriller, with Katherine Heigl facing off with Rosario Dawson. Mojo thinks that’ll lead to an $8 million weekend, Guru figures only $6.

Say what? I’d bet cash money that audiences, female-driven audiences, will want to see Heigl in murderous psychotic mode. It’s her last shot at big screen redemption, and with nothing else new out there threatening it, I’m guessing $10 million+.

“The Promise” is a period piece love triangle “epic” (small “e”) with Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale both courting Charlotte Le Bon during World War I’s Armenian genocide in Turkey. It could do decent business. The TV commercials are everywhere and reviews of this sprawling mess haven’t been awful. $3 million, tops.

“The Lost City f Z” has even less oomph, in terms of hype and promotion. Good reviews. But Charlie Hunnam isn’t a movie star. Yet. If it clears $2 million I’d be shocked.

DisneyNature’s “Born in China” should do well with family audiences. Not animated blockbuster well, but better than the $4 million most are projecting for it to take it. No 3D prices, but yeah, there is so much nature documentary content on TV it will be a hard sell. Not one of Disney’s best, but the pandas and monkeys are adorable. Maybe $6-8 million for this one?

Next weekend is kind of a wash with no “major” releases, so “Fate of the Furious” and “Boss Baby” and “Beauty and the Beast” have two full weeks before summer truly starts to finish making their money. “Baby” and “Beast” should add another $8-9 million to their bottom lines this weekend.

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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