One of two things could be happening this weekend: Either Vin Diesel is somewhere smiling thinking that The Fast and the Furious series is not as big without him or the entire series itself is starting to wane – at least here in America. Hobbs & Shaw actually had an opening that both Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham can brag is higher than any of their previous starring vehicles, but as part of this particular franchise, its domestic numbers are not nearly as impressive.
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw opened to $60.8 million this weekend. That is higher than either Johnson’s San Andreas ($54.58 million) or Statham’s The Meg ($45.40 million), but it is lower than any of the films since 2009, when both Diesel and Paul Walker returned for the first time together back to the series. That started this cinematic phenomenon that began with a $70.95 million opening that increased to $86.19 million in 2011, then $97.37 in 2013. After Walker’s untimely death, the series had the same kind of bump in interest that The Dark Knight had in 2008. Nolan’s film opened to $158.41 million six months after Heath Ledger’s passing. After a delay in the release for Furious 7, it opened in April 2017 to the highest Tomatometer score in the series (81%) and a weekend of $147.18 million, which at the time was the ninth biggest opening ever. That opening is now 24th best, but it is still the eighth-highest ever worldwide with $1.516 billion.
The Fate of the Furious was to continue its global dominance with $1.236 billion (good for 17th all-time – though will soon be passed by The Lion King) but its domestic gross of $226 million fell behind the sixth and seventh chapters. If Hobbs & Shaw followed in sync with the rest of the series, it should have had no worse than the third-best August opening ever. Alas, it will have to settle for sixth place. The lowest-grossing film in August to open to at least $50 million was 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, a series that Dwayne Johnson was added to with G.I. Joe: Retaliation only to see it gross less than its predecessor with $122.52 million.
The budget for H&S was $200 million, not counting P&A (prints & advertising), even with a current worldwide haul of $180 million; however, this is still a series that has not grossed less than $626 million since the fourth (and worst-reviewed) film in 2009. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was Dwayne Johnson’s only headlining film that grossed over a half-billion worldwide. Statham’s sole film in that regard was The Meg and previously had not had a starring vehicle reach $126 million globally. Maybe Vin Diesel can smile until Fast & Furious 9 opens next Memorial Day weekend, which may be a true test if this series is past its peak.
Sony won the opportunity to be the first studio to distribute a Quentin Tarantino film in the post-Weinstein era, and it looks like it is paying off with Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood. The $90 million production had a solid hold this weekend and is right where it wants to be: between the 10-day hauls of Django Unchained ($86.26 million) and Inglourious Basterds ($73.02 million) with $78.84 million. Hollywood’s second weekend ($20.02 million) was slightly higher than Django’s $20.01 and Basterds’ $19.30. That’s a great place to be, which could see it nestling into a $140 million–$150 million haul and it has not even opened internationally yet. Again, never underestimate that DiCaprio draw, but the trifecta with Brad Pitt and Tarantino has got audiences talking and that alone is a win for Hollywood (the movie and the town.)
The Lion King grossed another $38 million this weekend bringing its haul to $430 million, the ninth-best ever for a film after 17 days.
Though it is also fading a little faster than some of its contemporaries. This weekend ranked as the 18th-best third weekend; though among the all-time top 30, only three dropped 50 percent or more, and they all fall under the Marvel banner (Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3). This only seems to be the difference between grossing over $500 million or over $600 million domestically. Internationally, it has grossed over $764 million bringing its worldwide total to $1.195 billion, already good for 19th place all-time and less than $150 million away from passing Black Panther and entering the top 10, which it will do with no issue. It has also now outgrossed the 1994 animated film with its combined initial release and its 3-D re-release in 2011. Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin has also crossed $350 million domestic and is the 38th highest–grossing film worldwide ever.
Speaking of Marvel, Spider-Man: Far From Home fell just behind the pace of Sam Raimi’s 2002 kickoff. On Thursday after 31 days, Far From Home was at $352.57 million, while Raimi’s film had made $353.82 million. That is still the 30th best of all-time domestically in that timeframe; however only two films among those 29 ahead of it grossed less in their fifth weekend than Far From Home ($7.90 million), and they were Captain America: Civil War ($7.82 million) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($7.25 million), so $400 million looks off the table. But its global haul stands at $1.075 billion, the 29th-highest ever.
Pixar’s Toy Story 4, which crossed $400 million at home and has risen to $959 million worldwide, placing it 50th on the all-time chart. Domestically, its numbers are still really impressive. On its 40th day, just before it hit $400 million, the fourth film in the series had the 16th best-ever tally in that period. On top of that, the $7 million it made in its seventh weekend is higher than 12 of the top 20 grossers after 40 days. After this weekend it is the 27th highest-grossing film domestically of all time.
We continue to watch the progress of Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, which is becoming the limited release story of the summer. The film has a 99% Tomatometer score after just a single negative review. In its fourth weekend, A24 expanded its release from 135 to 409 theaters, and it grossed $2.4 million, good enough to jump from 10th place last week to seventh place this week. To put this in context with other films in 300-500 theaters in weekend four, check out these films with the numbers representing their weekend gross, number of theaters and total gross in their first 24 days:
The Hours ($4.64 million / 402 theaters / $7.33 million)
Manchester by the Sea ($3.17 / 366 / $8.34)
There Will Be Blood ($2.94 / 389 / $5.86)
Match Point ($2.93 / 441 / $8.02)
The Joy Luck Club ($2.83 / 340 / $5.97)
The Favourite ($2.60 / 441 / $6.77)
Boyhood ($2.39 / 310 / $7.44)
Birdman ($2.31 / 460 / $8.08)
The Farewell has made a total of $6.83 million to date. Even if some of the numbers don’t quite match up with the above titles, this is nevertheless the company Wang’s film will be mentioned in among future limited-release successes. Amazon’s $12 million pickup of Late Night out of Sundance only grossed $15.3 million this summer. The Farewell should surpass that, but would need to do Manchester-type numbers to best A24’s Lady Bird. One weekend at a time, though, as audiences will continue to discover this film going forward.
Julius Onah’s Luce is another limited release to watch. The film enjoyed the best per-theater average of the weekend making $132,000 in just five theaters. That’s a fifth-best PTA for Neon behind I, Tonya; Ingrid Goes West; Three Identical Strangers; and Colossal. Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale opened in two theaters in NY and LA and grossed $40,000.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout spent its second weekend atop the charts with a $35.32 million haul, nearly outgrossing the next two films combined. Disney’s Christopher Robin opened in second to $24.58 million and The Spy Who Dumped Me placed third with $12.10 million. The adaptation of young adult sci-fi novel The Darkest Minds made $5.84 million, good enough for just eighth place. Black Panther, meanwhile, in its 25th week of release, passed the $700 million line to become the third-highest-grossing film ever at the time. Last year’s Top 10 grossed $119.73 million and averaged 70% on the Tomatometer. This year’s Top 10 averaged 75.8% with critics, and its estimated gross of $143.88 million is good enough for the ninth-best August weekend since 2000. If it can get over $143.895 million when results are released Monday it will be eighth.
Five new releases open wide next week in hopes of capturing your attention, and there appears to be something for everyone. Family audiences are going to have to decide between the big-screen, live-action version of Dora the Explorer with Dora and the Lost City of Gold and the Look Who’s Talking Now/Marley & Me hopeful, The Art of Racing in the Rain, which appears to be going for every heartstring. Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss, and Tiffany Haddish go pre-Widows against the mob in The Kitchen. Horror fans get the Guillermo Del Toro–produced Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Finally, there is Brian Banks, the true story of a rising football player who is wrongly convicted of rape.
[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]