NORTH AMERICA: Weekend Actuals: 'Furious 7' Leads Third Straight Weekend Race with $29.16M; 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' Claims Second with Solid $23.76M Debut; 'Unfriended' Takes Third with $15.85M
on April 20, 2015
By Daniel Garris
Universal's Furious 7 took in $29.16 million this weekend to lead the weekend box office for a third consecutive frame. The seventh installment of the blockbuster franchise featuring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and the late Paul Walker was down 51 percent from last weekend. This weekend's hold was respectable, especially when taking into account the size of the film's grosses thus far and the added presence of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Unfriended in the marketplace. Furious 7 has grossed a massive $294.51 million in 17 days of release. That leaves the film just $5.49 million away from reaching the $300 million domestic milestone. Furious 7 is currently running a very impressive 45 percent ahead of the $202.81 million 17-day take of 2013's Fast & Furious 6 and a slim 3 percent behind the $302.45 million 17-day gross of 2012's The Hunger Games.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 debuted in a not-so-distant second place with $23.76 million. Sony's modestly budgeted Kevin James led comedy sequel debuted in line with expectations. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 did open 25 percent below the $31.83 million debut of 2009's Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but the sequel had been widely expected to open below its predecessor due in part to the six-year gap in between films. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 did open 18 percent ahead of the $20.07 million start of 2011's Zookeeper. The solid opening weekend performance is good news for James, who will appear in Sony's upcoming Pixels this July.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 opened with $7.29 million on Friday (which included an estimated $450,000 from Thursday evening shows), increased a healthy 38 percent on Saturday to gross $10.09 million and is declined 37 percent on Sunday to gross $6.38 million. The film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio was 3.26 to 1, which is evidence of the film's appeal with family audiences. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 did receive a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore. While the film is highly unlikely to match the strong holding power of its predecessor, it will still have a solid chance of holding up well in the weeks ahead due in part to facing a limited amount of competition for family audiences (outside of Disney's Avengers: Age of Ultron).
Universal's Unfriended debuted in third with $15.85 million. The ultra low-budget horror film from Blumhouse Productions opened on the low end of pre-release expectations. While Unfriended was unable to break out to the degree its high level of online activity had suggested; the film still performed well this weekend with its small price tag in mind. The potential for Unfriended may have also been limited a bit by its R rating. Unfriended opened 20 percent below the $19.88 million start of last year's Ouija.
Unfriended opened with $6.82 million on Friday (which included an estimated $656,000 from Thursday evening shows), fell 12 percent on Saturday to gross $5.99 million and declined 49.5 percent on Sunday to take in $3.03 million. That placed the film's opening weekend to Friday at an understandably front-loaded 2.32 to 1. Unfriended received a C rating on CinemaScore, which is respectable by horror film standards.
Home placed in fourth this weekend with $10.61 million. The successful 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation fell 43 percent from last weekend, as the film took a bit of a hit from the new competition from Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. While it has been relatively front-loaded for a computer animated film, Home continues to exceed expectations in a big way with a 24-day take of $142.92 million. That places the film just ahead of the $142.44 million 24-day take of 2013's The Croods.
Fellow Fox release The Longest Ride rounded out the weekend's top five with $7.02 million. The Nicholas Sparks adaptation starring Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood fell 46 percent from last weekend's debut. That represented a respectable second weekend hold, especially given that Sparks adaptations often experience sharp second weekend declines. The Longest Ride has grossed $23.68 million in ten days. That is on the low end of expectations and places the film 35 percent ahead of the $17.55 million ten-day gross of last year's The Best of Me.
Meanwhile, Monkey Kingdom debuted in eighth place with $4.58 million. The latest nature documentary from Disney's Disneynature label opened on the low end of its modest expectations. Despite receiving the widest launch ever for a Disneynature film (2,012 locations); Monkey Kingdom delivered the softest opening weekend performance to date for Disneynature. Monkey Kingdom opened 4 percent below the $4.78 million start of last year's Bears.
Monkey Kingdom took in $1.55 million on Friday, increased a slim 7 percent on Saturday to take in $1.66 million and declined 18 percent on Sunday to gross $1.36 million. That gave the film an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.95 to 1. Monkey Kingdom will likely hold up well during the week, thanks in part to a promising A- CinemaScore, the past midweek strength of Disneynature films and from Earth Day falling on Wednesday.