Box Office Guru Preview: Vin Diesel and Gang Racing for #1 Spot

Also: Adventureland to provide the amusement.

by | April 2, 2009 | Comments

Universal makes a serious play at setting a new April opening weekend box office record with its street racing four-quel Fast & Furious which should lead the marketplace to a scorching spring frame. The only other new film attempting to steal away audiences is the quirky theme park comedy Adventureland which opens in about half as many theaters. With last weekend’s champ Monsters vs. Aliens still doing strong business, the industry could for the first time in history see two films gross over $30M each in the traditionally slow month of April.

Keeping the eight-year-old franchise going, Universal unleashes Fast & Furious on Friday hoping to reclaim old glory by reuniting the four principal cast members of the original surprise blockbuster. Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster, the PG-13 film is aimed at teens and young adults with a need for speed. Broad appeal across all ethnic groups will help widen the audience as with previous chapters. Given the age of the series, sales from the 30-plus crowd could make the debut bigger allowing it to challenge Anger Management’s record April bow of $42.2M.

Openings for the franchise include $40.1M for 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, $50.5M for 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious, and $24M for 2006’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift which featured a new cast and setting. At today’s ticket prices, those figures would amount to roughly $52M, $61M, and $27M respectively. Clearly a part of the audience has eroded away over the years and each film featured less and less of the “original parts”. Universal really had no way to get fans back for a fourth lap but to reunite the stars from the first pic.

The new FF is a comeback vehicle for Vin Diesel who has only had two starring roles in the past four years – the back-to-back flops Find Me Guilty and Babylon A.D. Walker, Rodriguez, and Brewster have never been big box office draws anyway so the promise of a big paycheck in a very high-profile film certainly helped to lure each actor. Reaching the opening weekend takes of the first two chapters (adjusted for today’s prices) will probably be out of reach. Part of the appeal back then was that this fresh new concept spoke to a new generation of young people. But the fan base is still huge and the original cast will spark tons of interest.

With a strong marketing campaign, limited competition for its target audience, theaters booking multiple auditoriums, and the buzz surrounding its reunited cast, Fast & Furious should finish in first place with a big sack of cash. Racing into more than 3,400 locations, a Friday-to-Sunday debut of about $43M could occur.


Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in Fast and Furious

Miramax offers a different entertainment option for the non-automotive fan with the quirky theme park comedy Adventureland starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. The R-rated pic is being promoted as being from the director of Superbad in hopes of attracting a crowd of older teens and twentysomethings. Starpower will be one of the main tools here in generating business as Eisenberg is known for his critical indie hit The Squid and the Whale, Stewart will be testing her drawing power after co-headlining the vampire smash Twilight, and supporting actors Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig will attempt to draw in the Saturday Night Live audience.

But the promotional push has not been as strong as those for hits like Superbad, Juno, or Little Miss Sunshine although Adventureland clearly wants to appeal to the same folks. Also Stewart’s pull outside of her lucrative franchise may be limited especially with the restrictive rating. A lot of heavy hitters are currently filling up screens in the multiplexes so competition will be a big factor too. That level of urgency just doesn’t seem to be there so many will wait for the DVD. However, reviews have been among the best of any wide release this year so if ticket buyers decide to listen to critics then the coming-of-age film could enjoy a respectable bow. Going out moderately wide in over 1,800 runs, Adventureland may debut to about $8M.


Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in Adventureland

Monsters vs. Aliens has enjoyed a good week following its potent debut grossing another $3.5M on Monday and $3.4M on Tuesday.on its way to a $70M+ opening week tally. With no new kidpics launching this weekend, the stage is set for another impressive frame. A 40% decline would lead to a weekend take of around $35M putting the ten-day sum at a robust $107M for Paramount and DreamWorks Animation. Lionsgate scored big last weekend too with its spookfest The Haunting in Connecticut. Both of the new releases will steal away teens and young adults so a sizable decline is likely. Look for a 55% fall to about $10M for a cume of $38M after ten days.

The doomsday thriller Knowing has done surprisingly well not only in its launch but with its sophomore hold. With a new actioner opening, Summit could see a 45% drop to roughly $8M raising the total after 17 days to $57M. Paramount’s dude comedy I Love You, Man may match up with about $8M as well which would be a 35% drop. Cume would climb to $49M.

LAST YEAR: The gambling drama 21 spent a second weekend at number one with $15.3M dropping only 36% for a solid hold. Jodie Foster‘s adventure Nim’s Island debuted in the runnerup spot with $13.2M and was followed closely by George Clooney‘s football comedy Leatherheads with $12.7M. Final tallies reached $48M for the Fox family film and $31.4M for Universal’s period pigskin pic. The animated hit Horton Hears a Who ranked fourth with $9.1M and the new horror entry The Ruins opened in fifth with $8M on its way to a $17.4M total.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

E3 MCU ABC President A&E Kids & Family christmas movies Starz Film Rock National Geographic adaptation toy story Elton John hist supernatural Marvel Studios Mary poppins Country elevated horror DirecTV Amazon Prime Video Martial Arts 2015 New York Comic Con Shondaland cancelled Ovation Sundance Now Mystery Fall TV Black Mirror SXSW Marvel Logo zombies The Witch anthology Lucasfilm animated independent BBC America indie Trailer 24 frames Food Network Certified Fresh BET cancelled TV series Captain marvel anime GIFs Anna Paquin ABC Family Thanksgiving Amazon screenings Writers Guild of America Rocky PBS spy thriller DC Universe WGN Winners diversity what to watch ITV Teen Trivia video Rom-Com Disney streaming service Walt Disney Pictures Western period drama TV renewals E! Disney Plus facebook Mudbound 2016 TV harry potter game of thrones NBC adventure Tomatazos versus DC streaming service The Arrangement ESPN WarnerMedia Election romantic comedy Hallmark Spring TV revenge Emmys First Reviews Holiday Women's History Month true crime festivals strong female leads Spike Year in Review Countdown book TruTV Podcast ghosts OWN south america Showtime medical drama cops TCM biography IFC Video Games Amazon Prime halloween teaser romance Syfy MSNBC The Walking Dead vampires Superheroes Music APB serial killer Cannes TV Land Calendar unscripted dramedy YouTube First Look Song of Ice and Fire El Rey Family Mary Poppins Returns LGBT Winter TV crime thriller Chernobyl Hulu free movies blockbuster Freeform Comedy Central Arrowverse Pirates Lifetime Christmas movies zombie green book slashers blaxploitation cancelled TV shows renewed TV shows 21st Century Fox Crunchyroll USA Network cinemax cancelled television Polls and Games TCA CW Seed cats HBO Nat Geo Turner Emmy Nominations Awards jamie lee curtis CMT Heroines YouTube Premium Comic Book Pop Comedy talk show Netflix thriller NYCC GoT Pixar 2017 Marathons spain sequel crime spinoff rotten movies we love 71st Emmy Awards Nominations canceled latino Tarantino Lifetime VICE social media Apple TV Plus Warner Bros. Action Reality Competition politics Interview Dark Horse Comics SundanceTV Premiere Dates golden globes theme song Turner Classic Movies batman GLAAD The Purge DGA YouTube Red Star Trek hispanic FXX PaleyFest Mary Tyler Moore Pride Month Super Bowl Schedule Apple police drama Character Guide Sundance Brie Larson Ghostbusters 007 richard e. Grant cars Rocketman dc Bravo Red Carpet Netflix Christmas movies breaking bad Paramount Network SDCC History comic Tumblr BBC zero dark thirty binge Paramount TNT stand-up comedy Valentine's Day Pet Sematary Oscars Opinion Apple TV+ Adult Swim quibi Fantasy Marvel Television justice league YA based on movie sports Creative Arts Emmys children's TV Acorn TV Epix robots miniseries psycho Extras Box Office Film Festival finale Drama USA Lionsgate 45 Sci-Fi Crackle Star Wars CNN HBO Max aliens Disney Channel historical drama Binge Guide Animation Reality Sneak Peek spider-man Christmas IFC Films transformers San Diego Comic-Con The CW 2019 Grammys FX cartoon Trophy Talk cults DC Comics comiccon natural history series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina travel CBS All Access dceu Photos dragons Cartoon Network Horror Columbia Pictures TIFF movies A24 20th Century Fox doctor who crossover docudrama Superheroe Ellie Kemper Sony Pictures disaster nature CBS Awards Tour Hallmark Christmas movies Britbox cooking TCA 2017 Spectrum Originals Holidays MTV Fox News Television Academy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt American Society of Cinematographers science fiction werewolf Musicals 2020 psychological thriller mockumentary Peacock discovery television kids technology streaming Set visit game show political drama space RT21 Biopics X-Men Watching Series ratings 2018 Quiz Masterpiece Infographic sitcom Classic Film composers Vudu witnail Universal VH1 spanish language Stephen King FOX joker comics Disney Toys TLC boxoffice Best and Worst TBS RT History Comics on TV Nickelodeon LGBTQ award winner Disney+ Disney Plus Mindy Kaling Musical Shudder mutant Cosplay foreign canceled TV shows Esquire war crime drama singing competition AMC Summer casting tv talk See It Skip It