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

Song of Ice and Fire Oscars Logo romance TIFF Comedy Central Video Games Cosplay Mary Tyler Moore animated RT21 christmas movies Dark Horse Comics First Reviews GLAAD National Geographic NBC Disney Plus Biopics Universal adventure sports child's play psycho cancelled TV series Amazon Prime Video spider-man BAFTA razzies Box Office Winter TV medical drama Emmys harry potter die hard CW Seed 2021 laika worst movies Country Legendary breaking bad cancelled TV shows fast and furious IFC series TV Interview Alien TCA 2017 hist Awards HBO independent Rom-Com name the review Holidays Apple TV+ The CW science fiction festivals DC Comics BBC America social media binge Reality facebook 2019 WGN news RT History BET political drama screenings Hear Us Out President YA women Crackle dragons LGBTQ CMT Fall TV football Discovery Channel PlayStation mockumentary Television Critics Association Comics on TV TCA Winter 2020 golden globe awards Pride Month E3 disaster Rock AMC The Walking Dead Infographic crime drama quibi The Witch Comic Book ABC Family sequels BBC spinoff romantic comedy stoner MTV Adult Swim Ellie Kemper Podcast Mary Poppins Returns 72 Emmy Awards A&E Certified Fresh El Rey cats sequel Columbia Pictures TCM joker Syfy period drama worst Anna Paquin Epix zombie History Broadway Ghostbusters documentaries Stephen King Fox Searchlight A24 composers 21st Century Fox TV renewals kong Creative Arts Emmys Endgame book Lionsgate 2015 Trivia robots Sony Pictures Shudder trailers king kong NYCC all-time game show technology Nominations Teen Baby Yoda natural history telelvision true crime Travel Channel Marvel Studios MSNBC zombies Horror franchise Paramount Plus Disney Channel Turner LGBT criterion Food Network emmy awards spy thriller Disney+ Disney Plus Star Wars strong female leads directors Super Bowl casting Cartoon Network SundanceTV politics deadpool Hulu australia Apple indiana jones Polls and Games comics Trailer versus Pixar latino stand-up comedy cults Calendar Amazon FX on Hulu DirecTV kids Mudbound Black Mirror ghosts Showtime streaming Shondaland screen actors guild Disney cops Binge Guide toronto TV One Ovation superman Pet Sematary zero dark thirty twilight Mary poppins ID Trophy Talk werewolf Exclusive Video YouTube Premium television supernatural Winners Netflix Christmas movies Best and Worst Grammys historical drama festival CBS All Access fresh diversity FOX reviews anime biography E! Starz Lifetime Christmas movies Fox News The Arrangement PBS justice league aliens Superheroes 24 frames doctor who indie Summer comic books travel spain VOD Western San Diego Comic-Con BET Awards documentary 2016 Writers Guild of America finale Brie Larson docudrama Netflix what to watch james bond foreign HBO Go DGA best Spike award winner SXSW Heroines hollywood Set visit X-Men Avengers video on demand Walt Disney Pictures classics Lifetime anthology Britbox crossover pirates of the caribbean batman kaiju FXX Animation IFC Films Martial Arts Premiere Dates scorecard The Purge green book 20th Century Fox adaptation Musicals 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards hispanic Film CNN cancelled monster movies Rocketman teaser dark Chernobyl Nat Geo Apple TV Plus Quiz cars CBS movie nature vampires Christmas Mindy Kaling venice singing competition space OWN YouTube Red movies Countdown GoT Amazon Prime FX Comedy universal monsters nbcuniversal based on movie Spectrum Originals Reality Competition godzilla 007 docuseries video rotten films Peacock slashers a nightmare on elm street parents dramedy USA cartoon 71st Emmy Awards Lucasfilm Extras psychological thriller 45 Acorn TV mission: impossible 4/20 Musical elevated horror Watching Series Awards Tour satire TBS witnail Holiday Women's History Month boxing canceled remakes TCA 2017 Nickelodeon Pop nfl 99% TruTV Arrowverse GIFs Marathons Superheroe VH1 PaleyFest Hallmark Christmas movies Black History Month The Walt Disney Company Red Carpet Amazon Studios jamie lee curtis blockbuster YouTube cancelled television japanese Bravo Pop TV unscripted Election renewed TV shows thriller Sundance TV war TCA Awards miniseries scary movies New York Comic Con hidden camera Sci-Fi Classic Film children's TV Warner Bros. crime stop motion cooking DC Universe Marvel Television comic theme song DC streaming service comiccon popular WarnerMedia archives Freeform mutant concert Television Academy Cannes Action Tumblr Academy Awards OneApp rotten movies we love Disney streaming service American Society of Cinematographers richard e. Grant Valentine's Day Thanksgiving See It Skip It blaxploitation Turner Classic Movies talk show sitcom Esquire The Academy USA Network TNT Tomatazos Funimation Photos Paramount canceled TV shows transformers Tubi discovery Hallmark Year in Review First Look Paramount Network blockbusters 2018 APB Spring TV Schedule asian-american Emmy Nominations Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Masterpiece serial killer Drama Elton John dogs ABC tv talk free movies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Family halloween dc dceu Film Festival obituary Sundance Now chucky Opinion Tarantino golden globes Vudu french SDCC comedies Toys Marvel south america Star Trek Character Guide jurassic park prank reboot revenge spanish Kids & Family toy story superhero ratings spanish language Rocky MCU TLC rt archives Sneak Peek Mystery Music BBC One halloween tv ABC Signature rom-coms VICE cinemax boxoffice Pirates ViacomCBS HBO Max TV Land black crime thriller ITV game of thrones italian critics Fantasy Captain marvel Crunchyroll sag awards police drama 2020 ESPN Sundance