Universal's Fast & Furious 6 took in an estimated $34.54 million over the weekend to lead the weekend box office for a second consecutive frame. The sixth installment of the blockbuster action franchise did fall a sharp 65 percent from last weekend's thee-day debut. It has been commonplace for the Fast & Furious franchise to experience sharp second weekend declines; 2011's Fast Five fell 62 percent to gross $32.45 million, while 2009's Fast and Furious also fell 62 percent to gross $27.24 million. However, given that Fast & Furious 6 opened significantly larger than each of its two most recent predecessors, it is understandable that it in turn experienced a larger second weekend percentage decline.
In the bigger picture, Fast & Furious 6 has grossed $170.38 million in its first ten days of release. That is an impressive 22 percent stronger than the $139.78 million ten-day start of Fast Five. Fast & Furious 6 (and the marketplace in general) will have a good chance of stabilizing next weekend, though potential stabilization could be short lived with Warner's Man of Steel and Sony's This Is the End both debuting the following week.
In a legitimate upset this weekend, Lionsgate's Now You See Me exceeded expectations to outpace Sony's After Earth for second place. The ensemble crime film featuring Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo debuted with an estimated $28.05 million. Heading into the weekend, expectations for the film had been closer to $20 million. In addition to drawing away moviegoers from After Earth, Now You See Me also likely benefited from the poorer than expected box office showing of The Hangover Part III. Now You See Me opened 16 percent stronger than the $24.11 million start of 2008's 21 and an impressive 110 percent stronger than the $13.33 million debut of 2011's 30 Minutes or Less.
Now You See Me grossed 10.05 million on Friday (which included $1.5 million from late night showings on Thursday night), increased by 6 percent on Saturday to take in $10.65 million and is estimated to gross $7.35 million on Sunday. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.79 to 1. Saturday's increase is a good early sign for the film going forward, as is the film's A- rating on CinemaScore. Now You See Me had clear four-quadrant appeal this weekend, with the film's audience breakdown skewing slightly towards female moviegoers (51 percent) and slightly towards moviegoers under 30 (52 percent).
After Earth had to settle for third place with a disappointing estimated start of $27.0 million. The M. Night Shyamalan directed sci-fi film starring Jaden Smith and Will Smith had been expected to open somewhere in the range of $30 million to $40 million (which would have already been soft by Will Smith's lofty box office standards). In addition to having higher pre-release expectations than Now You See Me, After Earth also carried a much larger price-tag. After Earth opened 27 percent softer than the recent $37.05 million launch of Oblivion and instead opened much more in line with the $25.53 million start of last year's Battleship. While not the only reasons for the film's lackluster start, very poor critical reviews and arriving on the scene after Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness and Fast & Furious 6 clearly didn't help matters.
After Earth took in $9.85 million on Friday (which included $1 million from late night showings on Thursday), increased 4 percent on Saturday to gross $10.2 million and is estimated to take in $6.95 million on Sunday. The film registered an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.74 to 1. After Earth earned a so-so B rating on CinemaScore, which does suggest that the film is playing better with audiences than it is with critics. The audience breakdown for After Earth skewed slightly towards male moviegoers (51 percent) and towards older moviegoers (60 percent of the audience was over 25).
It was a close three-way race for fourth place this weekend between holdovers Epic, Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hangover Part III. Currently, Fox's Epic and Paramount's Star Trek Into Darkness are tied for fourth with estimated takes of $16.4 million each. Warner's The Hangover Part III is estimated to take sixth with $15.93 million. Respective declines from last weekend's three-day frame are 51 percent for Epic, 56 percent for Star Trek Into Darkness and 62 percent for The Hangover Part III. Holds for all three films left a bit to be desired this weekend, as declines in general were sharper than normal for the post-Memorial Day weekend frame.
To date, Epic has grossed $65.16 million in ten days, which is on the high end of pre-release expectations. Star Trek Into Darkness has grossed $181.16 million in 18 days and is now running 5 percent behind the $191.01 million 18-day take of 2009's Star Trek. The Hangover Part III has managed $88.09 million in eleven days, placing it a very disappointing 53 percent behind the $185.81 million eleven-day take of 2011's The Hangover Part II.
There were a number of noteworthy performances in platform and limited release this weekend, including that of Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. The Hindi-language Eros release grossed $1.65 million this weekend from 162 locations, which was good enough for ninth place among all films for the frame. Roadside's Mud followed in tenth place with an estimated $1.23 million from 580 locations and has now grossed $16.87 million through 38 days.
Other platform performances of note this weekend included estimated grosses of $552,182 for IFC Films' Frances Ha ($4,152 location average from 133 locations), $430,542 for Sony Pictures Classics' Before Midnight ($13,888 location average from 31 locations), $75,555 for Fox Searchlight's The East ($18,889 location average from 4 locations), $58,000 for CBS Films' The Kings of Summer ($14,500 location average from 4 locations) and $31,000 for Zeitgeist's Hannah Arendt (from just 1 location in New York).