Thursday, April 13, 2017

Box Office Predictions: 'The Fate of the Furious'

Every now and then there is a time in theatres when there is only one wide release scheduled.  It usually signifies a stand out performance is expected and there is little that wants to go up against it.  It isn't necessarily the case with all blockbusters, as sometimes counter programming offers options for those that don't want to watch the latest Star Wars.  This weekend is one where there is nothing else in sight other than fast cars and tuned up bodies.

Two years ago, around the same time of year (give or take a week earlier) Furious 7 burst into movie theatres across the continent and set forth the largest April opening weekend on record with $147 million.  It also sits in fifth place for the highest world wide opening weekends of all time with $397 million.  Furious 7 was a movie that turned a lot of heads and got a lot of people to flood the theatres, and Universal is looking to repeat that with this year's offering.

However, I don't think that it is going to perform as well as the previous attempt.  There was something going for Furious 7 that the latest instalment does not have, and that is the death of Paul Walker.  His passing gave new light to the movie, and inspired an ending to it that was a farewell to the deceased actor.  That boosted interest in the movie is now gone, and it is going to come down to general marketing and audience interest to get the wheels spinning on this one.

There have been a few additions to the cast to add to the already beefed up star power, but I don't see Helen Mirren as a talent that fans of the franchise know too much about.  They could be excited to see Charlize Theron playing the villain, which is something that positive reviews of the film point out as being a quality performance.

Even with the bigger cast, it is often extremely difficult to maintain excitement and buzz for a franchise.  It is incredibly difficult to see box office numbers get bigger as a franchise goes along, and I can't see this being the case for the Furious films two outings in a row.  I expect that it will see a decent sized drop this weekend compared to the 2015 instalment, but it will by no means be a failure.  Universal is still going to see a lot of money come from this film, just not as much as perhaps they are hoping for.

The Fate of the Furious Opening Weekend Prediction: $125 million

That's about it for this weekend.  The other thing that will be interesting to see is if Beauty and the Beast will end up on top of The Boss Baby this weekend.  At this stage of their releases, I think that anything's possible, but I will be surprised if Beauty and the Beast manages to overcome The Boss Baby.  Out of the two films, it is the one that stands to lose the most audience members to The Fate of the Furious, with The Boss Baby having a younger demographic to lean into that won't be seeing this month's hottest movie.  I could be wrong, though.  It has happened once or twice before.

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I'm smarter than a bat. I know this because I caught the little jerk bat that got in my apartment, before immediately and inadvertently bringing him back in. So maybe I'm not smarter than a bat.