(Photo by Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Fast & Furious Movies Ranked

From bursting out the nose of an exploding plane, to skipping skyscraper to skyscraper, to gently guiding a bank safe across public roads and additional civil engineering, the Fast & Furious franchise has made its mission delivering more outrageous action than the previous movies could ever muster. And as the stunts got crazier for Dom (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and the whole F&F-in’ family, critics were just as willing to go along for the ride. It was finally the fifth Furious film that earned the franchise’s first Fresh. And since then it’s been on a skyward trajectory, like a souped-up Karmann Ghia ramping off an Arrakis sandworm and barrel rolling between a fleet of nuclear dirigibles (you know we’re heading in this direction). Furious 7 reached a high emotional crescendo in the wake of Walker’s death, while follow-up F8 saw a dip, though stayed in the Fresh lane.

The latest include spin-off Hobbs & Shaw and the long-delayed F9. Now that the whole family’s here, see all Fast & Furious movies ranked by Tomatometer! Alex Vo

#10

Fast & Furious (2009)
28%67%

#10
Adjusted Score: 34680%
Critics Consensus: While Fast and Furious features the requisite action and stunts, the filmmakers have failed to provide a competent story or compelling characters.
Synopsis: When a crime brings them back to the mean streets of Los Angeles, fugitive ex-convict Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

#9

2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
36%50%

#9
Adjusted Score: 41143%
Critics Consensus: Beautiful people and beautiful cars in a movie that won't tax the brain cells.
Synopsis: This sequel focuses on ex-police officer Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker), who relocates from Los Angeles to Miami to start over.... [More]
Directed By: John Singleton

#8
Adjusted Score: 43012%
Critics Consensus: Eye-popping driving sequences coupled with a limp story and flat performances make this Drift a disappointing follow-up to previous Fast and Furious installments.
Synopsis: Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) always feels like an outsider, but he defines himself through his victories as a street racer.... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 58319%
Critics Consensus: Sleek and shiny on the surface, The Fast and the Furious recalls those cheesy teenage exploitation flicks of the 1950s.
Synopsis: Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) enjoys the adrenaline of street car racing and his fans treat him like a rock star.... [More]
Directed By: Rob Cohen

#6

F9 The Fast Saga (2021)
59%71%

#6
Adjusted Score: 72086%
Critics Consensus: F9 sends the franchise hurtling further over the top than ever, but director Justin Lin's knack for preposterous set pieces keeps the action humming.
Synopsis: Vin Diesel's Dom Toretto is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

#5
Adjusted Score: 86328%
Critics Consensus: Hobbs & Shaw doesn't rev as high as the franchise's best installments, but gets decent mileage out of its well-matched stars and over-the-top action sequences.
Synopsis: Brixton Lorr is a cybernetically enhanced soldier who possesses superhuman strength, a brilliant mind and a lethal pathogen that could... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 88724%
Critics Consensus: The Fate of the Furious opens a new chapter in the franchise, fueled by the same infectious cast chemistry and over-the-top action fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: With Dom and Letty married, Brian and Mia retired and the rest of the crew exonerated, the globe-trotting team has... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#3

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
70%84%

#3
Adjusted Score: 77558%
Critics Consensus: With high-octane humor and terrific action scenes, Fast & Furious 6 builds upon the winning blockbuster formula that made Fast 5 a critical and commercial success.
Synopsis: Since Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian's (Paul Walker) heist in Rio left them and their crew very rich people, they've... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

#2

Fast Five (2011)
78%83%

#2
Adjusted Score: 85325%
Critics Consensus: Sleek, loud, and over the top, Fast Five proudly embraces its brainless action thrills and injects new life into the franchise.
Synopsis: Ever since ex-cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Torretto (Jordana Brewster) broke her brother Dom (Vin Diesel) out of... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

#1

Furious 7 (2015)
81%82%

#1
Adjusted Score: 90762%
Critics Consensus: Serving up a fresh round of over-the-top thrills while adding unexpected dramatic heft, Furious 7 keeps the franchise moving in more ways than one.
Synopsis: After defeating international terrorist Owen Shaw, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

F9

(Photo by Giles Keyte / © Universal Pictures)

Going forward it seems that every time a select potential blockbuster is on the horizon, we will all be looking at it less as just another pandemic record-breaker, but a sign that the doors to normalcy are opening wider. We did it back in March with Godzilla vs. Kong, and saw further hope in the opening and continuing numbers of A Quiet Place Part II. Now it is The Fast Saga’s turn to step up onto the scale and see how it should be measured.


King of the Crop: F9 Fuels the Biggest Box Office Weekend Since February 2020

The latest film in the saga (the ninth that is actually the tenth), F9, grabbed the record this weekend for films opening during the pandemic with $70 million from Friday to Sunday. We’ll see if that is a rounded-up estimate. Whether it is or not, it is the best number 1 haul at the box office since The Rise of Skywalker’s second weekend ($72.3 million on the weekend of December 27-29, 2019) and the overall box office had the strongest three-day weekend since President’s Day weekend last February. This is no doubt good news as this is a film – even with pandemic asterisks – that should have opened to over $60 million. Anything less than that – even above A Quiet Place Part II’s three-day holiday weekend haul of $47.5 million – would have been considered a hollow victory. But it got over that hump with a $7.1 million gross in Thursday night previews and $30 million on Friday. Amongst past films that grossed between $6.5 million and $7.5 million on Thursday previews, the lowest full weekend earner was Jordan Peele’s Us with $71 million. (Fast & Furious 6 is among that small group and opened to $97.3 million after $6.5 million in previews.)

There is no question that The Fast Saga is one of the biggest franchises of all-time: Over $6 billion and counting with more than half of that attributed to the last three films (not even counting Hobbs & Shaw). Furious 7 is the ninth highest-grossing film worldwide of all-time and The Fate of the Furious is 19th. F9 has made over $404 million worldwide so far. However, domestically, the grease is starting to come off the wheels a bit for the franchise. For all its international success, Fate grossed $127 million less than the seventh movie, and then Hobbs & Shaw made $53 million less than that; that spin-off finished its run just shy of $174 million and was considered somewhat of a disappointment at home. Bringing in those pesky pandemic asterisks again, we still have not seen a film hit $150 million in the pandemic period. The lowest-grossing film to open between $65 million and $68 million is X-Men: Apocalypse, with $155 million total. However, F9 is not going to be judged against the poor word-of-mouth of that film, nor against the Vin Diesel-less Hobbs & Shaw. We are back to Diesel solo here with no Dwayne Johnson to draw in fans of his Hobbs character. So we may be back to looking at the fourth entry, Fast & Furious, as the first hurdle F9 wants to clear. a film that also just happened to finish with…$155 million. Start your engines.


Rotten Returns: Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard Not Much Of a Hit

Last week’s The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard, which has a Tomatometer score of 28%, took a dive this weekend – all the way back to second place with a near 60% drop to $4.8 million. That puts it just marginally above where the Child’s Play remake was in 2019 when it grossed $4.42 million in its second weekend for a 10-day total of $23.5 million. That film sunk even further and only finished with $29.2 million. Bodyguard is up to $25.5 million, so should outgross that, but may only be headed for somewhere around $35 million total, or half of what the original did. Not a good number for a film with a budget reported to be somewhere between $50 million and $70 million.


The Top Ten And Beyond: A Quiet Place Part II Still the Big Winner of the Pandemic Box Office As Cruella Shows Its Legs

The current champ of this box office era, A Quiet Place Part II, continues to draw in crowds. Remaining in second place again this week, it grossed another $6.2 million, raising its total to $136 million. That is roughly the same amount Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby had after a full month of release; that film made $6.5 million in its fourth weekend, but then began to drop sharply and finished with over $144 million. Quiet Place Part II is likely to remain in the top five for the next two weeks and could find itself making a real push towards $150 million. It stands at over $248 million worldwide.

The horror sequel’s Memorial Day weekend competitor, Cruella, has held up pretty well over the past few weeks. We had it pegged for somewhere around a $70 million finish and after another $3.7 million this weekend it stands at $71 million. A final tally in the $75 million-$80 million range is still not much to brag about given its hefty budget, and how many are continuing to spend $30 a pop for Premier Access on Disney+? Even the overseas numbers are only at an additional $112 million. Nevertheless, its haul is proving more impressive domestically than Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, which stands at $28.5 million after this weekend. The $79 million it has made overseas will help smooth the books with Sony, but these are all numbers that continue to show families are not flocking back to theaters. The numbers may be why the studio pushed back Hotel Transylvania: Transformania to October where its predecessors have thrived, and which should give those with kids more time to settle back into normalcy. Eyes will be on another family sequel next week, but those numbers will likely be skewed due to its day-and-date streaming option as well.

Over on the HBO Max side of things, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It fell 42% this week down to $2.9 million. That is slightly more than Annabelle Comes Home, the lowest-grossing film in the Conjuring Universe, made in its fourth weekend ($2.6 million) but it had also banked $64.7 million at this point compared to $59 million for the third Conjuring movie. The new film appears unlikely to hit the $74 million that Home had grossed in 2019. Then we see the continued box office disappointment of In The Heights, which dropped to $2.2 million and has now made $24.3 million total – more or less what many analysts believed it would make its opening weekend.


On The Vine: A Horror Finale, A Cherub in a Suit, and the Twitter Thread That Became an Indie Darling

Next week Universal gives you options for the theater and at home. The family can venture out to see The Boss Baby: Family Business or they can stay in their living rooms and catch it on the Peacock. But if you do need to get out of the house and want to see a movie about people not wanting to end something, then you also have The Forever Purge in theaters, the supposed final chapter of the horror franchise. Also in theaters is the acclaimed Sundance film from Janicza Bravo, Zola, which currently sits at a Certified Fresh 88% on the Tomatometer and is based on a wild Twitter thread.


Full List of Box Office Results: June 25-27


  • $70 million ($70 million total)

  • $6.2 million ($136.39 million total)

  • $4.88 million ($25.87 million total)

  • $4.85 million ($28.86 million total)

  • $3.73 million ($71.3 million total)

  • $2.92 million ($59.13 million total)

  • $2.23 million ($24.16 million total)

  • $1.03 ($15.84 million total)

  • $592,000 ($2.3 total)

  • $560,000 ($26.73 total)


Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

With F9 racing into theaters this week, we have a lot of Tomatometer-related questions about the franchise at large. Are Fast and Furious movies better when “family” is mentioned? What about when Dwayne Johnson glistens like the blockbuster god he is? Do audiences enjoy quarter-mile races that take two minutes to finish? Is there a correlation between critical reception and Vin Diesel telling Kurt Russell, “No, I don’t want to drink your delicious Belgian ale. Give me a bucket of Corona instead?”

The franchise’s arguably greatest strength has been its ability to evolve since its debut in 2001. It began with a bit of street racing in The Fast and the Furious, then took a detour to Japan to learn how to Tokyo Drift, upped the ante (and the number of stamps in its passport) from Fast Five to The Fate of the Furious, spun itself off in Hobbs and Shaw, and now, judging from the F9 trailer, it appears the gang is ready to explore the final frontier. It’s been a wild ride, and it’s neat to see a non-superhero franchise hold its own in the age of Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Avengers.

Of course, the next best thing to watching a Fast and Furious movie is researching and writing about them, and with F9′s imminent release in mind, we decided to look back fondly and bring you some funky Tomatometer stats worthy of the fantastically ridiculous franchise. We rewatched all nine films in the series so far (which was awesome), took notes, and used incredibly detailed articles from Bloomberg, Insure the Gap, and Movies, Films and Flix to come up with nine data points that will almost certainly ensure a Fast and Furious installment will be a success.

With all that in mind, sit back and strap on your seat belt as we present nine completely arbitrary — and incredibly scientific — Tomatometer facts to help craft the perfect Fast and Furious movie.


1. MENTION “FAMILY” AT LEAST FIVE TIMES

  • Fast Movies That Mention Family Five or More Times: 72.6% Tomatometer Average / $933 Million Worldwide Box Office Average
  • Fast Movies That Mention Family Fewer Than Five Times: 38.5% Tomatometer Average / $240 Million Worldwide Box Office Average

Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7, The Fate of the Furious, and Hobbs & Shaw featured the word “family” being uttered a whopping 41 times. Whether it’s Dominic Toretto’s now-iconic line — “I don’t have friends, I got family” — in Furious 7 or his “Salud mi familia” in Fast Five, these five films go heavy on the “family” rhetoric, and audiences and critics responded with love. While the definition of the word has gotten looser throughout the franchise (Elena’s pointless death in The Fate of the Furious still stings), it seems like the family will keep growing, as Hobbs & Shaw introduced literal family members and F9 brings the The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift crew back into the fold, which will create new dynamics and relationships in the inevitable sequels to come.


2. INCLUDE A LONG, DESTRUCTIVE FINALE

  • Fast Movies with 10+ Minute Finales and Over $10 Million in Damage: 72.6% Tomatometer Average / $987 Million Worldwide Box Office Average
  • Fast Movies with Shorter Finales and Less Than $10 Million in Damage: 38% Tomatometer Average / $240 Million Worldwide Box Office Average

You can’t have Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, John Cena, Kurt Russell, and Jason Statham in your films and not blow up a lot of stuff. Nowadays, the Fast films have progressed from their humble DVD player-stealing days to destroying nuclear submarines (at least $3.5 billion of damage), terracotta warriors (priceless), cargo airplanes ($60 – $150 million), and super soldiers ($250 million). What helped the Fast franchise get to the next destructive level? The answer is Fast Five, and the key scene is when Brian and Dom careened around Rio de Janeiro with a gigantic bank vault, destroyed everything in their path. It’s an all-timer set piece that let the world know the franchise would be stepping it up a notch in the action department.

That said, we had to give the yacht destruction in 2 Fast 2 Furious some love, even though it remains relatively low-stakes. It’s an audacious stunt that ends with Roman and Brian (Paul Walker)  too injured to get out of the car after the jump (that would never happen nowadays), and they are saved when Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes) knocks out villain Carter Verone (Cole Hauser). We think it’s time to bring back Eva and Carter.


3. MAKE SURE SOMEONE DRINKS CORONA, ESPECIALLY AT A BARBECUE

Fast & Furious 6

(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)

  • Fast Movies in which Characters Drink Corona: 58.25% Tomatometer Average / $718 Million Worldwide Box Office Average
  • Fast Movies in which No Characters Drink Corona: 56.8% Tomatometer Average / $604 Million Worldwide Box Office Average

Want to know something interesting? Dom and his family only drink Corona when they are in California. In The Fast and the Furious, Fast & Furious, Fast & Furious 6, and Furious 7, we are treated to scenes of beer-guzzling in Cali; Dom and Vince (Matt Schulze) in particular both drink like maniacs.

But what is the ideal place to drink Corona? In both The Fast and the Furious and Fast & Furious 6, it takes place during a barbecue, and the two movies have a 61.5% Tomatometer average. In Fast & Furious, the Corona consumption takes place in a club and during a takeout dinner, and in Furious 7, Dom is handed a bucket of Corona (it’s wonderful), and they have a 55% Tomatometer average. So, drinking Corona is generally good for the series, but drinking Corona during a barbecue is ideal.


4. FEATURE A QUARTER-MILE RACE…

  • Fast Movies with a Quarter-Mile Race: 70.6% Tomatometer Average / $784 million Worldwide Box Office Average
  • Fast Movies without a Quarter-Mile Race: 50.8% Tomatometer Average / $590 Million Worldwide Box Office Average

The Fast and the Furious, Fast Five, and Furious 7 are the only films in the franchise that feature the epic quarter-mile races. Based on Dom’s speech in the first film when he says “I live my life a quarter-mile at a time,” you’d think there would be more of them. However, they are all quite memorable as the first film features the glorious quarter-mile race that takes two minutes to complete and the final race when Dom flips his Charger and takes off with Brian’s car. It’s also fun to watch Dom, Brian, Roman and Han race on the surprisingly empty Rio de Janeiro streets in Fast Five (Brian gets his revenge!). The idea of bringing back past memories plays an important part In Furious 7, when Dom attempts to spark Letty’s memories by taking her to Race Wars, which was introduced in the first film. (It doesn’t work, and she knocks a dude out). These races give the characters a moment to relax a bit and remember the simpler times they spent racing on the streets of Los Angeles before they started battling murderous mercenaries around the world.


5. …BUT MAKE SURE IT’S THE ONLY RACE IN THE MOVIE

  • Fast Movies That Dedicate At Least 5% of Their Screen Time to Racing: 38% Tomatometer Average / $240 Million Worldwide Box Office Average
  • Fast Movies That Dedicate Less Than 5% of Their Screen Time to Racing: 72.6% Tomatometer Average / $987 Million Worldwide Box Office Average

Remember when the Fast and Furious movies used to feature actual racing? The Fast and the Furious was bookended by races, and 2 Fast 2 Furious featured an opening racea job interview race, and a race to get Brian and Roman some new cars. The finale of Tokyo Drift was the longest race in the franchise. However, all of these films are Rotten, and they didn’t make the money of Furious 7 or The Fate of the Furious, so the franchise has pivoted to feature more gun mayhem and outrageous stunts and less racing and car culture. It makes sense; we’d probably get bored of watching Dom race around Los Angeles in sleeveless tees for 20 years, sipping on Coronas and calling everyone “buster.”


6. DON’T KILL OFF A MAJOR PROTAGONIST

  • Fast Movies That Feature a Major Character Death: 55.6% Tomatometer Average / $563 Million Worldwide Box Office Average
  • Fast Movies That Don’t Feature a Major Character Death: 61.6% Tomatometer Average / $837 Million Worldwide Box Office Average

Death (and coming back to life) is a constant theme in the Fast franchise. Whether it’s Jessie (Chad Lindberg) getting killed in The Fast and the Furious, Vince getting shot in Fast Five, or Gisele sacrificing herself for Han in Fast & Furious 6, the majority of the Fast movies have no problem getting rid of characters.There are some lucky ones, like Letty and Han, who were presumably killed but have come back into the fold because of pressure from fans (#justiceforhan), and Rodriguez, who was brought back by Diesel so she could have a show-stopping fight against Gina Carano in Fast & Furious 6.

One side benefit of Han’s return in F9 — other than, you know, having Han back — is that it could help Fast fans to make peace with Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw. It stung to watch Shaw become a franchise regular, and a hero at that, when we all thought he had killed Han. Now, with some “yada yada-ing,” we don’t have to feel quite as bad because he technically didn’t kill a fan favorite.

The major blemish in the death count is Elena (Elsa Pataky), whose death in The Fate of the Furious was supposed to establish the villainy of Cypher (Charlize Theron). However, it seemed more like a choice of convenience, considering she was the mother of Dom’s baby and Letty was back in the picture. It’s a bad look, and the aftermath was never treated with any significance.

*Quick note – Technically, Han is “killed” in Tokyo Drift and Furious 7. However, we are only counting his death scene in Tokyo Drift.


7. INCLUDE A MEMBER OF THE SHAW FAMILY

Jason Statham

(Photo by ©Universal Studios)

  • Fast Movies with a Shaw: 71.5% Tomatometer Average / $1.075 Billion Dollar Worldwide Box Office Average
  • Fast Movies without a Shaw: 46.2% Tomatometer Average / $318 Million Dollar Worldwide Box Office Average

While many immediately think of Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), it’s worth noting that Luke Evans was the first Shaw to appear on screen. His Fast & Furious 6 character Owen Shaw pushed the crew to their limits with his tanks and doppelgangers, and he set the stage for a new type of Fast villain. It’s also wild to think back and remember that Deckard Shaw entered the franchise by killing Han at the end of Fast & Furious 6, and then slaughtering cops in Furious 7 so he could visit his brother Owen in the hospital. Statham is so charismatic that audiences are apparently willing to overlook all of that, so Shaw somehow got pardoned for all of the murders and he was accepted into the gang. Since then, The Fate of the Furious has introduced us to Queenie (Helen Mirren), the Shaw family matriarch, and Hobbs and Shaw introduced us to Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), sister to Owen and Deckard. There’s now another family in the Fast world, and over time, they’ll likely be folded into the main family, for better or worse.


8. HIRE VIN DIESEL AND DWAYNE JOHNSON TO STAR TOGETHER

  • Fast Movies with Both Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson: 74%  Tomatometer Average / $1.043 Billion Worldwide Box Office Average
  • Fast Movies with Only Vin Diesel: 41% Tomatometer Average / $283 Million Worldwide Box Office Average
  • Fast Movies with Only Dwayne Johnson: 68% Tomatometer Score / $760 Million Worldwide Box Office Average

After a much publicized riff between Diesel and Johnson, the two have reportedly squashed their feud, and to quote singer Jack Johnson, they’ve realized “We’re Better Together.” Whether it’s their Godzilla-esque brawl in Fast Five or their team-up in Fast and Furious 6, audiences like seeing the two burly men alongside each other on screen. Hopefully, in future installments, we’ll be safe from The Fate of the Furious dramatics when the two technically appeared in scenes together but never shot any of them with the other present, and everyone sensed it, as it was clear they were kept apart on purpose.

Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, and Furious 7 are the three best-reviewed films of the franchise, and you get to see the two of them actually share screen time. Hobbs & Shaw notwithstanding, let’s hope that Fast 10 Your Seatbelts (please be the title) reunites the two A-listers for some A+ quality time.


9. MAKE SURE DWAYNE JOHNSON IS NICE AND SWEATY FOR AT LEAST 70% OF HIS SCREEN TIME

Dwayne Johnson in Fast Five

(Photo by ©Universal Pictures)

  • Fast Movies with a Sweaty Dwayne Johnson: 72.6%Tomatometer Average / $933 Million Worldwide Box Office Average
  • Fast Movies with a Not-So-Sweaty Dwayne Johnson: 68.5% Tomatometer Average / $775 Million Worldwide Box Office Average

When Dwayne Johnson made his first appearance in Fast Five, he looked like he had just climbed out of a vat of water, glycerine, and the goo from Alien. The perpetually glistening super agent, who apparently sweat about 4 ¼ cups of water in Fast Five, quickly became a fan favorite, and he has continued his perspiring streak in all of the sequels. Kudos to Bloomberg for finding a way to quantify it all; we are jealous and impressed that you figured out he was “wet” in 90.3% of Fast Five and 73.4% of The Fate of the Furious. Based on the evidence, audiences are big fans of sweaty, oiled-up Dwayne Johnson.


And there you have it: the nine ingredients you need to craft the perfect Fast and Furious movie. What are your favorite moments in the franchise? Let us know in the comments.

F9 opens in theaters on June 25, 2021.


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.


It’s been a long time coming, but the latest installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, F9, is finally hitting theaters this month and the cast and creators couldn’t be more excited to share the series’ biggest entry yet. (Yes, it’s true: They go to space.) But how do they feel about the Furious story wrapping up with the upcoming 10th and final film? Rotten Tomatoes correspondent Nikki Novak sat down with a bunch of the main players – stars Vin Diesel, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Sung Kang, Nathalie Emmanuel, Tyrese Gibson, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Helen Mirren, and director Justin Lin – to reflect on endings…and potential new beginnings. Plus: The Fast family talks a potential Jurassic World/Fast and Furious crossover, finally delivering #JusticeForHan, how they plan to top themselves in the next film, and what really goes on at their infamous and epic cast dinners.

F9 is in theaters Friday, June 25, 2021.


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.


With Sung Kang’s highly anticipated return to one of the world’s biggest franchises in F9, Fast and Furious fans may finally be getting #JusticeForHan. But what does the man who plays Fast favorite Han think of the fan campaign to bring him back and make things right? And how did he go about shaping the mysterious snack-happy drift king into one of the most beloved characters in one of Hollywood’s most beloved film series? We sat down with Kang to dig into just that.

In this exclusive and extended breakdown of Han’s journey in the films, Kang reveals how he worked with director Justin Lin to bring a standout character from Lin’s indie hit, Better Luck Tomorrow, into the Fast world; how the duo had to convince the studio it was the right move to make Han a bigger player in Tokyo Drift; what it means to play an Asian-American character that has inspired so many fans; and, yes, why Han snacks so damn much.

Plus, Kang reflects on the #JusticeForHan campaign and the fans that revved it up, and the moment he realized that the impact of this character “is way bigger than me.”


F9 is in theaters Friday June 25, 2021. 

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

It’s Tom vs. Dom as we pit the most venerable action franchises of the last 25 years for macho movie supremacy. In this heavy-hitting Vs. episode, we’re declassifying everything that makes Mission: Impossible a success and going under to hood to see all the moving parts of Fast & Furious. Across four categories — Box office performance, Tomatometer and Audience Scores, Characters, and Rubbin’ Is Racin’ (where we square each franchise’s action sequences against each other) — and one special wildcard category, we’ll find out what’s more important: Family, or jumping 25,000 feet out of an airplane. See which franchise emerges victorious, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Godzilla vs. Kong

(Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures)

The people-may-be-comfortable-going-back-to-theaters narrative that erupted last week may have been a bit premature. Or we’re just seeing a word-of-mouth reaction to a frontloaded film over a holiday weekend. It’s hard to tell these days. Godzilla vs. Kong was not exactly facing major competition and won the weekend handily with $13.3 million. But it is those mid-range films that will begin to tell us just how spread out attendance is going to be, and with films like The Unholy and Voyagers filling those voids, we are still just dipping our toes into what the theatrical comeback is going to look like.


King of the Crop: Can Godzilla vs. Kong Reach $100 Million in the U.S.?

Godzilla vs. Kong

(Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures)

The immediate good news on Godzilla vs. Kong is that it has easily become the highest-grossing film since the pandemic began last March, passing Christopher Nolan’s Tenet. That much was inevitable after grossing over $48 million in its first five days of release. The next milestone it hopes to reach – other than surpassing Godzilla, King of the Monsters’ worldwide gross of $386 million (it currently stands at $357 million) is that of the once-fabled $100 million domestic plateau. The baby steps to the milestone after that will come much quicker for the next blockbuster, but does this film at this time have a real shot? So, let’s examine.

Holding a film now to the standards of the great normal is not ideal, but we can try to make it correlate as best we can to current times. Godzilla vs. Kong dropped 58 percent in its second weekend. The higher the start, the higher the drop in these times. Wonder Woman 1984 dropped 67.1 percent in December after a $16.7 million start. More theaters plus vaccinations puts GvK with a 92.8 percent increase in its three-day weekend and a drop 9.1 percent better. That is fair progress. Now in the history of March releases that had grossed between $64 million–$75 million in their first 12 days, only two of the nine (2017’s Power Rangers and 10,000 B.C.) failed to reach $100 million, except even those films grossed $14.2 million and $16.7 million in their second weekend (and were the only two of the lot to not gross at least $20 million). Godzilla vs. Kong grossed $13.3 million. With theaters still at limited capacity.

Now, GvK has a slight edge on those films gross-wise to date with $69 million estimated through Sunday. And currently we are seeing much smaller drops in third weekends amongst the pandemic films. Raya and the Last Dragon dropped just 10.2 percent and The Little Things fell only 2.6 percent. Even Chaos Walking fell just 14.5 percent. One thing they all have in common is the ability to last in a marketplace with lesser competing options for the public to experience in theaters. Raya had made $17.17 million in its first 12 days and has more than doubled that total since. The Marksman with Liam Neeson had only grossed $6.35 million in 12 days and has managed to scrounge out over $15 million. GvK will still have another weekend at No. 1 and will fall back with Mortal Kombat the week after, at which time it should settle into second place for another three weeks until Spiral comes out, and there is no reason to believe it will not still be in the top five come Memorial Day weekend. That’s a long road ahead, but it is still very possible that $100 million could be there at the end of it.


The Top 10 and Beyond: Voyagers Lands with a Thud

Lily-Rose Depp and Tye Sheridan in Voyagers poster

(Photo by Lionsgate)

The only big theatrical contender this week was Lionsgate’s Lord of the Flies in space, aka Voyagers, which was not liked by critics (with a 27% Tomatometer score) or cared about by audiences this weekend grossing a paltry $1.3 million. Sure, it is only the 12th film of 2021 to open with more than a million, but it could not even crack the top 10 on that small list. Even the long-delayed Chaos Walking managed to open to $3.77 million, one of only seven movies this year so far to gross over $10 million.

Beyond that, it was a week of small drops. Nobody retained its second-place spot falling just 12 percent to $2.65 million. It has now crossed the $15 million line. Last week’s No. 2, The Unholy, fell to third with only a 23 percent drop. It’s total now stands at $6.7 million. Tom & Jerry dropped only 17 percent and has run its total to over $41 million. Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon actually increased business this week, going up 2 percent and grossing $2.1 million for a total of $35 million.


These Dates In Box Office History: Vin Diesel’s The Fast and the Furious Franchise Revved Up Audiences for the Summer Blockbuster Season

April 9: On this day in 2017, the Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt sci-fi film, Passengers, grossed $5,876. That was enough to push it over the $100 million mark on its 110th day of release. (What an anniversary for Voyagers to be opening on with its unwanted advances in space premise.)

April 10: This is a big date for films crossing the $100 million line. In 1999, Dreamworks’ animated The Prince of Egypt made $151,406 to get there on day 114 of its release. Steven Spielberg got their faster in the director’s chair in 2018 when Ready Player One grossed $2.34 million to reach the mark in just 13 days. Though eight years earlier in 2010, the remake of Clash of the Titans took in $11.04 million to reach the milestone in just nine days. Much faster than Vin Diesel’s family film, The Pacifier, did in 2005 when it grossed $739,633 on its 38th day. Diesel got there a lot quicker – and doubled it – 10 years later when Furious 7 made $18.86 million in its eighth day to cross the $200 million line.

April 11: Turns out these are big dates for one Vin Diesel as Fast and Furious is his third film on the list this week. His return to the franchise made $10.43 million in its ninth day to cross $100 million. Three years later on this date, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax grossed $795,795 to pass $200 million on its 41st day of release. That is a milestone that Fast and Furious would not reach.


On the Vine: Fresh Festival Films Take a Shot at Box Office Glory

Fresh from its debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Ben Wheatley’s latest horror film, In The Earth, moves up two weeks to April 16. The Neon film currently has a 77% Tomatometer score. If horror is on your mind also be on the lookout for Barbara Crampton taking the lead on Travis Stevens’ Jakob’s Wife. The SXSW premiere has an 81% Tomatometer score.


Full List of Box Office Results: April 9-11

  • $13.3 million ($69.5 million total)

  • $2.65 million ($15.6 million total)

  • $2.4 million ($6.7 million total)

  • $2.14 million ($35.2 million total)

  • $1.35 million ($1.35 million total)

  • $1.11 million ($41.1 million total)

  • $597,000 ($1.3 million total)

  • $452,000 ($4.9 million total)

  • $411,500 ($411,500 total)

  • $265,000 ($12.6 million total)


Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Thumbnail: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures

Universal Pictures courtesy Everett Collection

(Photo by Universal Pictures courtesy Everett Collection)

All Vin Diesel Movies Ranked

Who knows what the movie industry would look like today if Vin Diesel hadn’t broken into a local theater in New York with his twin brother at age seven, intending to vandalize it? The theater director who caught them offered them parts in a play instead of calling the police, and Diesel’s career in the arts began.

Diesel initially had a tough go in the industry as a young, aspiring actor, until he poured his frustrations into a short film that he wrote, directed, produced, and starred in, called Multi-Facial. It was good enough to get the attention of none other than Steven Spielberg, who brought him on board his multiple Academy Award-winning Saving Private Ryan. After Diesel then provided the voice for Brad Bird’s sentimental winner The Iron Giant, he embarked on what would be a career-defining journey as one of contemporary cinema’s most recognizable action franchise stars.

It began with 2000’s Pitch Black, which kicked off the Chronicles of Riddick franchise, and continued with 2001’s The Fast and the Furious and 2002’s xXx, one of which, of course, has become one of the most successful film series ever and is still going strong, with new entries on the way. (Hint: it’s not xXx.) If all of that weren’t enough, it was also Diesel’s presence as the voice of a living tree that only utters one phrase in a goofy superheroes-in-space movie that helped make Groot — and subequently Baby Groot — one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

After all of this, Diesel is still looking for more franchises to sink his teeth into, and the upcoming release of Bloodshot, an adaptation of the Valiant Comics series of the same name, could be the one. But before we see him take his revenge as a super-soldier infused with nanotechnology, we’re taking a look back at all Vin Diesel movies ranked by Tomatometer!

#25

Babylon A.D. (2008)
7%26%

#25
Adjusted Score: 10451%
Critics Consensus: A poorly constructed, derivative sci-fi stinker with a weak script and poor action sequences.
Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a battle-hardened mercenary, Toorop (Vin Diesel), lives by his own code and the credo kill or... [More]
Directed By: Mathieu Kassovitz

#24

A Man Apart (2003)
11%62%

#24
Adjusted Score: 15098%
Critics Consensus: Action and drama elements don't mix well in this clichéd actioner.
Synopsis: Agent Sean Vetter (Vin Diesel) is a DEA operative fighting the drug wars along the US/Mexican border. After a major... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#23

The Last Witch Hunter (2015)
18%43%

#23
Adjusted Score: 22343%
Critics Consensus: Grim, plodding, and an overall ill fit for Vin Diesel's particular charms, The Last Witch Hunter will bore and/or confuse all but the least demanding action-fantasy fans.
Synopsis: The modern world holds many secrets, the most astounding being that witches still live among us. Centuries ago, Kaulder (Vin... [More]
Directed By: Breck Eisner

#22

Knockaround Guys (2001)
21%51%

#22
Adjusted Score: 23629%
Critics Consensus: Well-acted, but it's too derivative.
Synopsis: The film follows four sons (Barry Pepper, Vin Diesel, Seth Green, Andrew Davoli) of well-known Brooklyn-based mobsters (Dennis Hopper, John... [More]

#21

The Pacifier (2005)
21%58%

#21
Adjusted Score: 25679%
Critics Consensus: Vin Diesel parodies his tough guy image for the family audience, but the result is only moderately amusing.
Synopsis: Elite Navy SEAL Shane Wolfe (Vin Diesel) can handle just about anything thrown his way, but even the best have... [More]
Directed By: Adam Shankman

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 35122%
Critics Consensus: As an action movie, Riddick offers some thrills, but as a sequel to Pitch Black, it's a disappointment.
Synopsis: Galactic criminal Riddick (Vin Diesel) is on the run, with bounty hunters on his tail. He receives guidance from Aereon... [More]
Directed By: David Twohy

#19

Fast & Furious (2009)
28%67%

#19
Adjusted Score: 34680%
Critics Consensus: While Fast and Furious features the requisite action and stunts, the filmmakers have failed to provide a competent story or compelling characters.
Synopsis: When a crime brings them back to the mean streets of Los Angeles, fugitive ex-convict Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) and... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

#18
Adjusted Score: 51850%
Critics Consensus: Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk has noble goals, but lacks a strong enough screenplay to achieve them -- and its visual innovations are often merely distracting.
Synopsis: Nineteen-year-old private Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn), along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, becomes a hero after a harrowing... [More]
Directed By: Ang Lee

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 54855%
Critics Consensus: xXx: Return of Xander Cage should satisfy fans of the first two installments, but its preponderance of set pieces can't quite make up for a tired storyline that fails to take the franchise -- or action fans -- anywhere new.
Synopsis: After coming out of self-imposed exile, daredevil operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) must race against time to recover a sinister... [More]
Directed By: D.J. Caruso

#16

XXX (2002)
48%58%

#16
Adjusted Score: 53394%
Critics Consensus: It has an endearing lack of seriousness, and Vin Diesel has more than enough muscle for the starring role, but ultimately, XXX is a missed opportunity to breathe new life into the spy thriller genre.
Synopsis: Vin Diesel stars as former extreme sports athlete Xander "XXX" Cage, notorious for his death-defying public stunts. Betting he can... [More]
Directed By: Rob Cohen

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 58319%
Critics Consensus: Sleek and shiny on the surface, The Fast and the Furious recalls those cheesy teenage exploitation flicks of the 1950s.
Synopsis: Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) enjoys the adrenaline of street car racing and his fans treat him like a rock star.... [More]
Directed By: Rob Cohen

#14

Riddick (2013)
57%56%

#14
Adjusted Score: 62991%
Critics Consensus: It may not win the franchise many new converts, but this back-to-basics outing brings Riddick fans more of the brooding sci-fi action they've come to expect.
Synopsis: Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, fugitive Riddick (Vin Diesel) fights for survival against alien predators more lethal than... [More]
Directed By: David Twohy

#13

Pitch Black (2000)
59%77%

#13
Adjusted Score: 62371%
Critics Consensus: Despite an interesting premise (and a starmaking turn from Vin Diesel), Pitch Black is too derivative and formulaic to fully recommend to sci-fi or action fans.
Synopsis: When their ship crashes on an unexplored planet, the survivors of the crash soon discover that this planet that is... [More]
Directed By: David Twohy

#12

Find Me Guilty (2006)
62%62%

#12
Adjusted Score: 65618%
Critics Consensus: Find Me Guilty's excessive length and heavy-handed narrative keep it from reaching its full potential, but Vin Diesel's performance is well worth watching.
Synopsis: Imprisoned on a drug charge, mobster Jack DiNorscio (Vin Diesel) refuses to testify against his former associates in the Lucchesi... [More]
Directed By: Sidney Lumet

#11

Boiler Room (2000)
66%78%

#11
Adjusted Score: 68946%
Critics Consensus: Its ending is disappointingly tidy, but Boiler Room boasts just enough sharp writing and brisk pacing to make getting there worthwhile.
Synopsis: Welcome to the infamous "boiler room" -- where twenty something millionaires are made overnight. Here, in the inner sanctum of... [More]
Directed By: Ben Younger

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 88724%
Critics Consensus: The Fate of the Furious opens a new chapter in the franchise, fueled by the same infectious cast chemistry and over-the-top action fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: With Dom and Letty married, Brian and Mia retired and the rest of the crew exonerated, the globe-trotting team has... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#9

Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
70%84%

#9
Adjusted Score: 77558%
Critics Consensus: With high-octane humor and terrific action scenes, Fast & Furious 6 builds upon the winning blockbuster formula that made Fast 5 a critical and commercial success.
Synopsis: Since Dom (Vin Diesel) and Brian's (Paul Walker) heist in Rio left them and their crew very rich people, they've... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

#8

Fast Five (2011)
78%83%

#8
Adjusted Score: 85325%
Critics Consensus: Sleek, loud, and over the top, Fast Five proudly embraces its brainless action thrills and injects new life into the franchise.
Synopsis: Ever since ex-cop Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and Mia Torretto (Jordana Brewster) broke her brother Dom (Vin Diesel) out of... [More]
Directed By: Justin Lin

#7

Furious 7 (2015)
81%82%

#7
Adjusted Score: 90762%
Critics Consensus: Serving up a fresh round of over-the-top thrills while adding unexpected dramatic heft, Furious 7 keeps the franchise moving in more ways than one.
Synopsis: After defeating international terrorist Owen Shaw, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#6
Adjusted Score: 114830%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that's almost as fun -- if not quite as thrillingly fresh -- as its predecessor.
Synopsis: Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 108809%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 104827%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.
Synopsis: Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#3

Saving Private Ryan (1998)
94%95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 101010%
Critics Consensus: Anchored by another winning performance from Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg's unflinchingly realistic war film virtually redefines the genre.
Synopsis: Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) takes his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#2

Avengers: Endgame (2019)
94%90%

#2
Adjusted Score: 124032%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#1

The Iron Giant (1999)
96%90%

#1
Adjusted Score: 101368%
Critics Consensus: The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.
Synopsis: In this animated adaptation of Ted Hughes' Cold War fable, a giant alien robot (Vin Diesel) crash-lands near the small... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

Thumbnail images by Jamie Trueblood/Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Universal courtesy Everett Collection

Following through on good vibes from its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last weekend, Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers exceeded even the loftiest expectations for its debut. The numbers may not have been enough to take the top spot from Pennywise, but the film’s opening is an important win for STX Films.


Queen of the Crop: Hustlers Pulls In $33.2 Million

Hustlers

(Photo by STX)

STX’s previous best opening weekend was Bad Moms back in July 2016, with A Bad Moms Christmas taking the company’s second spot. This year’s surprise success, The Upside, which grossed over $108 million, was also a top grosser for STX. Hustlers’ $33.2 million start is higher than the total domestic grosses of the company’s other 2019 releases, The Best of Enemies, UglyDolls, and Poms, as well as 14 of its other 23 releases.

The 13th-highest opening ever in September shows some real potential for Hustlers if word-of-mouth grows on the 87%-approved stripper crime drama. Six of the 11 films to open this month between $29 million and $35 million have gone on to reach the $100 million mark (though two of them were the kid-friendly Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs films). Jennifer Lopez has never appeared in a live-action film to reach that milestone. Her highest-grossing films to date have been Maid in Manhattan ($94.01 million) and Monster-in-Law ($82.9 million). Hustlers is poised to already beat her third-best grosser (Anaconda’s $65.8 million) and any way you slice it, the $20 million production is likely to be STX’s biggest success ever after Bad Moms — and its second with Lopez after last December’s Second Act grossed more than $72 million globally on just a $16 million budget.


Rotten Returns: The Goldfinch Disappoints

As prestige projects go, always beware the ones released in late August and early September. Case in point: Warner Bros.’ The Goldfinch. Technically in award season and even given a premiere at the Toronto Film Festival last week, John Crowley’s two-and-a-half-hour film has been poorly received by critics (24%) and now even moreso by audiences. A $2.64 million opening weekend is a disaster for the $45 million production, though hardly the first for the studio this year. Godzilla: King of the Monsters, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, and The Kitchen have all registered losses of more than $45 million each, and now The Goldfinch looks to be joining them. By the end of its run it should be the lowest-grossing wide release Warner Bros. has released in September since 2005’s disaster A Sound of Thunder, which cost $80 million and grossed just $1.9 million domestically and $11.6 million worldwide.


The Top 10 and Beyond

(Photo by Brooke Palmer/© 2019 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.)

It – the first one – dropped 51.3 percent in its second week, grossing more than $60 million. It: Chapter Two, already well behind the pace of the first, dropped 55 percent to $40.7 million this weekend. That means it is starting to fall behind the pace of Doctor Strange, which made $42.9 million in its second weekend, but remains still ahead of Logan, which grossed $38.1 million in weekend two. Both of those films had $152.9 million after ten days while It: Chapter Two has $153.8 million. That puts its current final estimate between $226-232 million, potentially a full $100 million less than the first chapter. Its worldwide total stands at $323 million and is already well into profit.

Running down some of the big winners in the top ten we find that The Lion King has passed $1.61 billion worldwide and Hobbs & Shaw is over $740 million, still nearly a half-billion less than The Fate of the Furious. Universal also has a bonafide hit with Good Boys despite still hoping to cross the $100 million mark globally. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is in about the same boat as Good Boys, with $91 million worldwide, and is a hit for Lionsgate. As is Angel Has Fallen, which hasn’t started its global run yet, but is at more than $60 million domestic and even an average total overseas will put it into the black.

Roadside’s The Peanut Butter Falcon passed $15 million this weekend, making it the seventh-highest-grossing film in the company’s history. A film that was hoping to replicate that success was Amazon’s Brittany Runs a Marathon, which finally entered wide release this weekend. But the company may have waited too long: Expanding into 757 theaters in its fifth week netted the film $1.55 million, which may look comparable to Moonlight moving from 176 to 650 theaters in week five and earning $1.48 million, but that film still had an entire award season in front of it. Last award season Amazon moved Beautiful Boy from 540 to 776 theaters in the same period and it earned $1.45 million. Brittany is ahead of that film’s pace with $3.8 million to date and may indeed pass it to become the company’s second-highest grossing film after this summer’s Late Night.


This Time Last Year

Shane Black’s attempted reboot of The Predator took the top spot at the box office with $24.6 million. It would eventually be outgrossed by the week’s third-place finisher, A Simple Favor, which started with $16 million and finished with $53.4 million, the second-best multiple of last September (3.34) for a wide release. The Nun fell a whopping 66.1 percent to second place with $18.2 million. Other new openers included White Boy Rick, which started in fourth with $8.86 million, and the continued story of Louis Zamperini in Unbroken: Path to Redemption, which opened in tenth to just $2.23 million. The top ten films grossed $94 million and averaged 57.8% on the Tomatometer. This year’s top ten grossed an estimated $98.09 million (the 12th-best September top ten ever) and averaged 64.3% with critics.


On the Vine: Space, Home, and Downton Abbey

Three vastly different films are looking for audience attention next week. The one original title is Brad Pitt’s sci-fi adventure Ad Astra, which looks to become the highest-grossing film of director James Gray’s career. But will it be enough to cover the more than $80 million budget of the film originally supposed to open in May? Then John Rambo is back in Rambo: Last Blood, as the character returns to the home from the end of Rambo (the fourth entry in Sylvester Stallone’s franchise.) This one is not being screened for critics so look for its Tomatometer score later than usual. Then there is the big-screen continuation of Downton Abbey. Will Focus be able to score its own hit from its legion of fans or will we see just how limited its die-hard base really is? The studio is releasing the film in more than 3,000 theaters.


The Full Top 10: September 13–15

  1. It: Chapter Two (2019) 62% – $40.73 million ($153.80 million total
  2. Hustlers (2019) 87% – $33.23 million ($33.23 million total)
  3. Angel Has Fallen (2019) 39% – $4.40 million ($60.38 million total)
  4. Good Boys (2019) 80% – $4.26 million ($73.31 million total)
  5. The Lion King (2019) 52% – $3.55 million ($533.99 million total)
  6. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 68% – $3.70 million ($168.31 million total)
  7. Overcomer (2019) 56% – $2.73 million ($28.98 million total)
  8. The Goldfinch (2019) 25% – $2.64 million ($2.64 million total)
  9. The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) 95% – $1.92 million ($15.04 million total)
  10. Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) 85% – $1.85 million ($56.74 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


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Summer is behind us and the fall season is picking up where it left off. It: Chapter Two may not have broken the fall nor even the September record for opening weekend, but it is the best opener since The Lion King back in July, even if it missed becoming the second film ever in September or October to begin with over $100 million. The question now is: How far will the tepid response to the nearly three-hour-long horror film take it now? But It certainly helped contribute to what was the second-biggest Top 10 weekend in September ever.


King of the Crop: It: Chapter Two Has Fourth-Highest R-Rated Opening

BILL SKARSGÅRD as Pennywise in New Line Cinema’s horror thriller "IT CHAPTER TWO,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros. Entertainment)

(Photo by Brooke Palmer/Warner Bros. Entertainment)

The two Deadpools and the two It films now represent the four best R-rated openings of all-time. It: Chapter Two, now fourth on that list, began its run with $91 million, $30 million less than the first chapter. Just for a little perspective, the now third-best opening in September ever was last year’s The Nun and that was $53.8 million. No other film to open this month has ever achieved $200 million total, let alone the $327.48 million than the first It did back in 2017. Chapter Two is going to be No. 1 for at least another week. Then we will see if word-of-mouth drops it enough for Ad Astra or even Downton Abbey to beat it on September 20. Critics have not been as on board with the second film with the Tomatometer dropping from 85% on its first reviews to 64% now. This is Warner Bros.’ 16th $90-plus million opening and the numbers are against it reaching $300 million, but they still have every reason to be celebrating what was accomplished with these two films, as they will combined soon reach the billion-dollar mark.


The Top 10 and Beyond: Angel Has Fallen Dips to No. 2, Spider-Man Drops Out

Angel Has Fallen (Simon Varsano / © Lionsgate / courtesy Everett Collection)

(Photo by Simon Varsano / © Lionsgate / courtesy Everett Collection)

Much of the Top 10 remained the same, with only one new release this week pushing Spider-Man: Far From Home off the list (again) and seeing another title — the surprise of the late summer — return.

Angel Has Fallen could be seen as a surprise itself as folks continue to go see it, and it aims to surpass the domestic gross of London Has Fallen. Good Boys may finally pass it next week, as it was just a few hundred thousand behind. The well-received R-rated comedy remains on a path to surpass $75 million.

Other big hits on the list naturally include The Lion King, the seventh-highest-grossing film of all time is making a run for $1.6 billion in global receipts. Hobbs & Shaw has collected over $700 million worldwide for Universal, still far less than the previous two films, but more than enough to turn a profit.

But the big surprise is Roadside’s The Peanut Butter Falcon, which is becoming the indie success story of the summer. The film added another 61 theaters and $2.4 million to drive its total to $12.4 million. A24’s The Farewell officially passed Late Night to become the highest-grossing Sundance film of the summer with over $16.7 million. Falcon, which premiered at SXSW, has a real shot to become the overall fest champion of the season.


This Time Last Year: The Nun Trounced Peppermint

The Nun (Warner Bros.)

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

September opened with the Conjuring universe in a big way as The Nun started with $53.8 million, handily taking the weekend from Jennifer Garner’s vigilante actioner, Peppermint, which grossed $13.42 million for second place. It just barely beat Crazy Rich Asians in its fourth week, which drove its total to over $135 million. The $106.33 million made by the top 10 films actually amounted to the fifth best September weekend of all-time. The low Tomatometer scores of both The Nun (26%) and Peppermint (12%) still were not enough to drag down a number of 90%-plus film in the top 10 including Crazy Rich Asians, Searching, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and BlacKkKlansman, resulting in an average Tomatometer score of 67.3%. This year’s top 10 grossed an estimated $125 million and averaged 69.8%.


On the Vine: Adaptations Not Expected to Top It’s Second Weekend

A Pulitzer Prize–winning book goes up against a New York Magazine article in a battle of the adaptations next week. In the film based on the article, Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu play strippers who try to one-up their wealthy clientele in Hustlers, which some are expecting to have a very strong opening weekend — unlikely to top It: Chapter Two in its second weekend, but more than enough to best the fictional, book-based The Goldfinch about a boy who survives a terrorist incident at an art museum and steals a valuable painting in his escape. The film, from the director of Brooklyn, should perform well enough for third place.


The Full Top 10: September 6–8

  1. It: Chapter Two (2019) 62% – $91 million ($91 million total)
  2. Angel Has Fallen (2019) 39% – $6 million ($53.46 million total)
  3. Good Boys (2019) 80% – $5.39 million ($66.85 million total)
  4. The Lion King (2019) 52% – $4.19 million ($529.11 million total)
  5. Overcomer (2019) 56% – $3.75 million ($24.71 million total)
  6. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 68% – $3.72 million ($164.25 million total
  7. The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) 95% – $2.28 million ($12.28 million total)
  8. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) 77% – $2.28 million ($62.1 million total)
  9. Ready or Not (2019) 88% – $2.23 million ($25.63 million total)
  10. Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) 85% – $2.17 million ($54.16 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


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Without any major wide releases this weekend, Hollywood just had the third-weakest Labor Day weekend since 2004. Whatever made up the top 10 last week week was pretty much here again this week, just with about two-thirds the revenue. In the meantime, most of America stayed away from the movies for one last summer vacation, fairs, BBQs, and – we assume – to save their money for the evil clown looking to break new records next weekend. For now, though, Angel Has Fallen can crow about being the top of a weak-ish crop for two weeks straight with a second-weekend haul of $14.8 million over four days.


King of the Crop: Angel Does Not Fall In Second Week

(Photo by Simon Varsano / © Lionsgate / courtesy Everett Collection)

Neither Olympus Has Fallen nor London Has Fallen spent a single week in the top spot at the box office. Now, Angel Has Fallen has done it for two straight weeks and joins 300 and this year’s How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World as the only films featuring Gerard Butler to spend two straight weeks at number 1. In fact, the first How To Train Your Dragon is the only other film featuring Butler to spend any week at number 1. Over the four-day Labor Day weekend, Angel grossed an estimated $14.8 million, a number that is neither high nor low when it comes to grossers over the holiday; it is 25th overall amongst premieres and holdovers. At an estimated $43.91 million after 10 days, the film remains right on par with Richard Donner’s Conspiracy Theory, which made a little more in its second weekend and finished with $75 million. It looks like Angel will come in a bit under that, but if its eventual international take comes in anywhere close to London’s $143 million, Lionsgate may be the first studio to take a second whack at this franchise.


Rotten Returns: Bennett’s War Fails to Cut Through

Bennett's War

(Photo by © ESX Entertainment)

Forrest Films released its debut, the motorbike and military drama Bennett’s War, into 970 theaters this weekend. The film about an injured war veteran trying to make a comeback on the motocross circuit has a solid Tomatometer at 60%, but that’s with just five reviews. The film grossed just $445,151 over the three-day weekend (Friday to Sunday) for a per-theater-average of $459. That is actually far from the lowest PTA of 2019 – John Travolta’s The Fanatic grossed $3,153 in 52 theaters for less than a $61 PTA – but it is the lowest of the year for an original wide release. The 20th anniversary showing of Cruel Intentions averaged $385 in 708 theaters; Keanu Reeves’ sci-fi film, Replicas, released this January, had a $1,020 PTA in 2,329 theaters.

Just for reference we looked at other August releases over time that opened in between 950 and 999 theaters and picked out a few highlights. In 2013 the Spanish language release, Instructions Not Included, with Eugenio Derbez, grossed $7.84 million in 978 theaters; in 2006, Idlewild made $5.74 million in 973 theaters; and in 1998, the Vince Vaughn/Joaquin Phoenix drama Return to Paradise opened to $2.46 million in 965 theaters.


Top 10 and Beyond: Good Boys Continues Good Run, Brittany In a Marathon Race to B.O. Success

Ed Araquel / © Universal

(Photo by Ed Araquel / © Universal)

Running down the rest of this weekend’s moneymakers, Universal should continue to be happy about the performance of Good Boys, which grossed $12.1 million over the four-day weekend and remains on course to gross around $75 million. Hobbs & Shaw has also maintained itself rather well and is headed for somewhere between $165 million and $175 million. The film is also approaching the $700 million mark worldwide, which is down from the previous two Furious movies but sees it outgrossing Fast Five – possibly even Fast & Furious 6 – and turning a decent profit.

Sony pulled an Endgame and put Spider-Man: Far From Home back into theaters with new footage for one last summer push, possibly in an attempt to push it over the $400 million line. That goal seems unlikely with $385.96 million to date, and it would need another $19 million to pass Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle for Sony’s highest-ever domestic release. That being said, the film is already the highest-grossing worldwide in the studio’s history with $1.122 billion, which is the 25th highest ever. Disney’s The Lion King is not going to become a top 10 all-time domestic grosser, but it is currently 13th all-time with over $523 million, and is chasing Rogue One ($532.1 million) and The Dark Knight ($535.2 million) to possibly finish 11th. Worldwide the film can now rest comfortably as the 7th highest-grossing film ever, having pushed past Furious 7 ($1.515 billion) and Marvel’s The Avengers ($1.518 billion) this weekend with a global total of $1.564 billion. Catching Jurassic World for 6th place ($1.671 billion) is not entirely out of the cards, but The Lion King will need its international fans to keep showing up. Disney owns six of the ten highest-grossing films of all-time.

Last week’s two other openers benefited from a lackluster weekend. The faith-based Overcomer earned just shy of $8 million and is currently outpacing both of director Alex Kendrick’s other films, Courageous and Fireproof, which finished with $34.5 and $33.4 million, respectively. In its 13th day, the Certified Fresh horror-comedy Ready or Not passed $20 million and now resides between the grosses of Mystery Men and Sinister 2, suggesting a final gross in the $28 million range. (Not spectacular but not terrible either on a $6 million budget.) Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, on the other hand, is an unqualified success. The Guillermo del Toro-produced horror tale is very closely on par with the original Blade, which finished with just over $70 million. All horror is going to take a hit next week with the opening of It: Chapter Two, so it may come up a bit short of that but is nevertheless into profit.

Sony has the tale of two movies in Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood and The Angry Birds Movie 2. The former has grossed over $130 million and is not far behind the pace of where Robert Zemeckis’ What Lies Beneath was back in 2000, though a total of $150 million may be a reach in the U.S. after dropping out of the top 10 this week. The movie is over $283 million worldwide. As for the Angry Birds sequel, it is relying on its international dollars to save it because it is currently on an Underdog pace domestically – literally on pace with the movie Underdog – to hopefully make $43 million.

Finally, we get to some festival films. From Sundance we have this week’s Don’t Let Go (titled Relive at the festival), which made $3.04 million in its 922 theater launch.

(Photo by © Amazon Studios)

The most interesting story, though, could be developing under not just our noses, but also Amazon’s. The studio’s Brittany Runs a Marathon expanded from five theaters into 49 this weekend; last weekend it made $180,711 and this week it earned $414,000 across the three-day weekend (and an estimated $539,000 for the four-day holiday). Last year’s The Old Man & The Gun, with Robert Redford, made the same leap, starting with $142,131 and then climbing up to $403,928 the second week. The Old Man & The Gun ended up making $11.2 million. Anything over $7.65 million would be Amazon’s second highest-grossing film to date.

Maybe they should be looking at what Roadside is achieving with The Peanut Butter Falcon. That film opened in 17 theaters and it grossed $204,793 for the 43rd best per-theater-average of the year. Brittany had the sixth best, then expanded to the same amount of theaters as Falcon in weekend two and outgrossed it $414,000 to $287,212. The Peanut Butter Falcon then expanded into 996 theaters last week and grossed $2.97 million. It jumped up to 1,249 theaters this weekend and made another $2.92 million (and an estimated $3.95 million over the four-day holiday). Its total now stands at $8.94 million and is the 11th-highest grossing film ever in Roadside’s indie history. The film was not even a high-profile Sundance premiere; it was first shown at SXSW in March.


This Time Last Year: Crazy Rich Asians Led Robust Holiday Weekend

Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros.

(Photo by Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros.)

Crazy Rich Asians won the box office for a third straight weekend as audiences flocked to their favorites again. That $28.5 million victory over the four-day holiday put the leader at $117 million as it prepared to eclipse the second-place finisher, The Meg, which was over $123 million. Mission: Impossible – Fallout was third and passed the $200 million mark. The week’s top newbie, Operation Finale, finished fourth with just $7.87 million and a lackluster six-day total of $9.61 million since opening on a Wednesday. Bursting into the top 10 was Sundance hit, Searching, which made $7.61 million in just 1,207 theaters for fifth place. All combined it was the best Labor Day weekend since 2013, as the top 10 grossed $96.29 million and averaged 68.2% on the Tomatometer. This year’s top 10 grossed an estimated $80.69 million for just the 16th-highest holiday weekend since 1990 and averaged 68.8% with critics.


On the Vine: Nothing Stands In It‘s Way

Normally, the fall movie season begins with a flurry of films clamoring for awards attention, but this year it begins with what promises to be one of the most successful flicks of the year. The nearly three-hour conclusion of Stephen King’s story of the evil in Derry, It: Chapter Two, arrives in theaters with the adults now in the room to battle Pennywise. No other wide release even dares to challenge this monster, and why would they? The first film opened to over $123 million and concluded with over $327 million domestic and $700 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing horror film of all time (in 2017 dollars). Will the 2019 chapter introduce a new champion?


The Full Top 10: August 30-September 2

  1. Angel Has Fallen (2019) 39% – $14.8 million ($43.91 million total)
  2. Good Boys (2019) 80%$12.1 million ($59.12 million total)
  3. The Lion King (2019) 52% $9.32 million ($523.55 million total)
  4. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 68% – $8.21 million ($159.02 million total)
  5. Overcomer (2019) 56% – $7.78 million ($19.32 million total)
  6. Ready or Not (2019) 88% – $6.995 million ($21.47 million total)
  7. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) 77%$6.25 million ($58.87 million total)
  8. Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) 85%$5.7 million ($51.16 million total)
  9. The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) 73%$5.6 million ($35.39 million total)
  10. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) 90%$5.51 million ($385.96 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


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Gerard Butler’s Has Fallen series is still bringing the action crowds: Angel Has Fallen‘s $21.25 million debut is a virtual dead match for previous entry London‘s $21.6 million opening. But with Angel the most expensive film in the franchise yet, financiers are also going to be hoping for some hefty international bucks.


King of the Crop: I’ve Fallen, But Can Still Get Up To #1

(Photo by Simon Varsano / © Lionsgate / courtesy Everett Collection)

Angel Has Fallen has gotten into the positive side of Butler’s box office history with a $21.25 million start, but will it have enough in the tank to recoup its $80 million budget? Olympus Has Fallen was the highest-grossing domestically of the series with $98.92 million. But it only grossed $71.34 million overseas resulting in the $70 million production coming up in the red. London Has Fallen dipped at home with just $62.5 million, but more than doubled the international haul of the first film with $143.23 million. Hence, the green light for Angel.

With 39% on the Tomatometer, the movie ranks somewhere in the middle critically for Butler. Compare it to previous entries: 49% and 26%, respectively. This for an actor who has never top-lined a film registering higher than 60%, achieved by RocknRolla and 300 both. With March openings, the Fallen films grossed multiples of 3.25 and 2.88 over their opening weekends. August box office history suggests that should decrease even more, marking Angel for somewhere around a $57 million domestic total, leaving international the duty of making up the rest…to the tune of $182 million to match London


Top 10 and Beyond: A Mild Time At The Movies

Eric Zachanowich/ TM & copyright © Fox Searchlight Pictures

(Photo by Eric Zachanowich/ TM & copyright © Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Last week’s top film, Good Boys, which many were expecting to repeat, dropped 45% to $11.7 million. That puts it at $42.05 million after 10 days, which puts it about right in line with a more kid-appropriate August release in David Lowery’s remake of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, which finished with over $76 million. Universal’s primary cash cow, the Fast & Furious series, may be showing signs of wear and tear in the U.S., but Hobbs & Shaw just opened in China to the tune of $110 million this weekend. That brings its global total to over $588 million – the 8th highest of 2019. Its $147 million at home is still one of the lower bars of the series.

Fox Searchlight’s Ready or Not had a lot of support from critics this week (Certified Fresh at 87% on Tomatometer) and many were hoping it would have opened stronger than it did: $7.55 million over the weekend and $10.57 million since its debut on Wednesday. That gives Ready a first final estimate between $26 million and $29 million. Not terrible for the $6 million-budgeted film, but additional advertising costs may keep it in the red if word-of-mouth cannot boost its total further.

Sony is not just feeling the brunt of anger from Marvel fans this week, but the belated realization that animated films and August do not mix. The latest example is The Angry Birds Movie 2, which is now up to just $27.09 million after 13 days. The film is currently $277 million behind the global gross of the first film, which in scale is on par with The Secret Life of Pets 2 doing $460 million less than its predecessor. Disney’s The Lion King, on the other hand, is now the 14th film ever to cross the half-billion line domestically and the 9th film to pass $1.508 billion globally. It needs just over $2 million dollars outside the U.S. to become just the 9th film in history to surpass the $1 billion mark exclusively with international dollars.

Rounding out the top 10, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood is now over $122 million and has surpassed Inglourious Basterds to become his second highest-grossing film, behind Django Unchained. Along with Jordan Peele’s Us, it is one of only two 2019 original projects to break $100 million. Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark joined the $50 million club this weekend. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is headed to join that club too, but not much beyond that.

We continue to monitor films from the festival circuit as this week Roadside’s The Peanut Butter Falcon, which debuted at SXSW this year, expanded in its third weekend from 49 to 991 theaters and grossed $3 million for a total of $3.7 million. Last week’s 90%-Tomatometer opener from Sundance, Blinded by the Light, dropped 52% for a $2.1 million second week haul, bringing its total to $8.2 million. Neon continued to expand its 93%-approved drama, Luce, into another 102 theaters (for a total of 160), bringing its total to $864,182. Finally there is A24’s The Farewell, which lost a small handful of screens this weekend and grossed another $944,000, bringing its total to $14.47 million.


This Time Last Year: Asians Continues Crazy Rich Domination

Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros.

(Photo by Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros.)

Crazy Rich Asians won handily for a second straight week, dropping just 6.4% from the previous weekend and earning another $24.8 million. The Meg maintained its second place status with $12.8 million. The best of the new challengers was Melissa McCarthy and the puppets in The Happytime Murders, which opened to $9.5 million, which is $4 million more than McCarthy’s ensemble film The Kitchen grossed this month. The mechanical dog film, A.X.L., opened to just $2.79 million. And among limited releases, the remake of Papillon made $1.09 million in 544 theaters, but Sundance success Searching (Certified Fresh at 92%) would turn out to be the one to keep an eye on after $388,769 in just 9 theaters. The top ten films grossed $84.55 million and averaged 56.3% on the Tomatometer. This year’s top 10 grossed an estimated $87.60 Million and averaged 68.5%.


On the Vine: Don’t Let Go and Saaho To Open Over Lackluster Holiday Weekend

(Photo by Blumhouse)

We hit the calm before the storm that will be It: Chapter Two on September 6. But for Labor Day weekend, Hollywood is going old-school in releasing, well, not much. Don’t Let Go, which premiered under the title Relive at Sundance in January, follows David Oyelowo’s character on a Frequency-like murder mystery that did not impress the press at the festival this year. It currently stands at 47% on the Tomatometer. The lackluster numbers could then indeed open the door for Bollywood action thriller, Saaho, to find a spot in the top 10 as no film is likely to dominate over the holiday weekend.


The Full Top 10: August 23-25

  1. Angel Has Fallen (2019) 39%$21.25 million ($21.25 million total)
  2. Good Boys (2019) 80%$11.75 million ($42.05 million total)
  3. Overcomer (2019) 56% $8.20 million ($8.20 million total)
  4. The Lion King (2019) 52% $8.15 million ($510.63 million total)
  5. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 68% – $8.14 million ($147.70 million total)
  6. Ready or Not (2019) 88% – $7.55 million ($10.57 million total)
  7. The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) 73%$6.36 million ($27.09 million total)
  8. Scary Stories (2018) 77%$6.00 million ($50.48 million total)
  9. Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) 85% $5.20 million ($43.09 million total)
  10. Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) 85%$5.00 million ($123.18 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


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Box office watchers love nothing more than a film becoming a surprise success and outperforming its expectations. Tracking services were once again made the fool this weekend as they did not even give Good Boys a chance over the shark sequel, let alone besting a second sequel that few were asking about nor the franchise spinoff showing signs of wear and tear. But Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, and Keith L. Williams – backed by word-of-mouth since their SXSW premiere in March – managed to do just that and now Good Boys hopes for a long shelf life.


King of the Crop: Good Boys Takes Advantage of Comedy Drought

Ed Araquel / © Universal

(Photo by Ed Araquel / © Universal)

Good Boys is the eighth R-rated film of 2019 to have an opening weekend of $20 million or more. That may seem low until you realize there were only eight R-rated films all of last year to achieve that. The bigger question many are asking is: where are the successful comedies? Until Good Boys, the highest-opening comedies of the year were all headlined by African-Americans: A Madea Family Funeral ($27.06 million), What Men Want ($18.23 million), and Little ($15.4 million). The Rebel Wilson pair in the first half of the year turned out to be a mixed bag as Isn’t It Romantic, despite being the only positively-scored of this batch (69%), fell short due to international rights being handled by Netflix, while The Hustle was a hit, thanks to its overseas release – even if it’s one of the worst-reviewed films of the year (14%).

SXSW had three big comedy premieres this year well in advance of their releases, each maintaining highly-acclaimed status by critics. In May, United Artists Releasing and Annapurna failed to capitalize on the premiere for Booksmart (97% on the Tomatometer), which only grossed $22.68 million. Lionsgate also seemed to miss with Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen in Long Shot (81%), which finished with just $30.31 million, though one could easily blame that on folks not wanting any more politics with their night out at the movies. The third of the batch was Good Boys, produced by Rogen and holding steady with a Certified Fresh 79% on the Tomatometer. Its placement in August is certainly no accident, as the first two American Pie sequels were successes in this month, as were the Rogen productions Superbad and Sausage Party. Back on the same weekend in 2005, Universal released The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which opened to $21.42 million and went on to gross over $109 million. Other high-grossing R-rated comedies released in August include We’re the Millers ($26.41 million opening / $150.39 million total), Tropic Thunder ($25.81 million/ $110.51 million), Pineapple Express ($23.24 million / $87.34 million), and The Campaign ($26.58 million / $86.90 million), even if the latter three were technically financial failures. Good Boys, with a budget of just $20 million, is well on its way to joining the profit list.


Rotten Returns: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Oh, There You Are

Wilson Webb / © Annapurna Distribution

(Photo by )

The United Artists Releasing experiment has seemingly had a lot of bottoms this year from releasing one of the worst-reviewed films of the year in The Hustle to not cashing in on the aforementioned goodwill of Booksmart to failing to get the Child’s Play remake to outgross even the original’s take of $33.2 million. But thanks to at least one international haul and a few skimpy budgets, those are minor failures at worst and could each be written up as profitable. They won’t be able to escape the numbers on Richard Linklater’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette, though. It’s only the fourth wide opening of his career but certainly weaker than The Newton Boys, which opened to $4.01 million in 1,965 theaters. Bernadette grossed $3.4 million in 2,404 theaters and reps a new low for UA Releasing and Annapurna when it comes to a 2,000+ launch.


The Top 10 and Beyond

Daniel Smith / © Universal

(Photo by Daniel Smith / © Universal)

Anyone who had Hobbs & Shaw at number 1 this weekend was not paying attention to either the breakout potential of Good Boys or the evidence that the popularity of the Fast & Furious series – at least as it relates to spinoffs – is dwindling. We’ll certainly test that theory when Vin Diesel returns in Fast and Furious 9 next Memorial Day weekend, and yes, Hobbs & Shaw has the eighth-highest gross after 17 days for films opening in the month of August, just ahead of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which did gross over $176 million. However its $14.1 million this weekend trails the $16.1 million that Apes made in weekend three, which suggests a final gross in the $160 million range. That is going to be around $65 million less than The Fate of the Furious (itself finishing with $127 million less than Furious 7). More concerning for Universal about this series’ future is that the film has only grossed $303.3 million internationally to date. That alone is about $700 million less than Fate acquired, though H&S still has not opened in China, which added $392+ million alone to that overseas haul; a couple million higher than Furious 7.

The battle for the family dollar was joined this week by The Angry Birds Movie 2, proving once again that Hollywood still has not received the memo that releasing animated films in August is a fool’s errand. Sony may have felt bullish, given that Sausage Party is the highest-grossing animated film ever released in this month, making $97.68 million. But they should have looked further down the list and realized that kids are back in school, weekday numbers are down, and that has resulted in only three other animated films to even pass $50 million (Planes, Barnyard, and ParaNorman). Now, The Angry Birds Movie 2 may not be joining that list either. Despite giving the film an extra day’s head start on Tuesday, the film has grossed just $16.2 million in its first six days. That is a just a million more than Kubo and the Two Strings had in five days ($15.2 million), and it finished just shy with $48.02 million.

Paramount Pictures

(Photo by Paramount Pictures)

Dora and the Lost City of Gold had $22.67 million in its first five days. It now has $34 million after 10 days, which is about a million ahead of where Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters was at. However, Dora trailed that film’s second weekend, $8.7 million-to-$8.5 million, suggesting a final haul right now between $60 and $68 million. Families were still too busy seeing The Lion King, which is just a few days away from passing the $500 million mark. It is the 10th highest-grossing film after 31 days of release, though its fifth weekend haul is more around what the 14th-16th place films had done. It still maintains a pace to get it around the $530 million line domestically. But it has already joined history as one of the ten highest grossing films of all-time globally with $1.435 billion, with eyes on Furious 7 ($1.516 billion) for eighth place. In other Disney news, Toy Story 4 became their fifth billion dollar release of 2019, not to mention their 23rd of all time in a field of just 43 films to reach the milestone. It needs another $20 million to surpass their live-action remake of Aladdin.

Sony is also keeping an eye on Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, which just began its international run, which it’s going to need to turn a profit. Domestically the film is still doing very well. The $90 million-budgeted film has grossed over $114 million and is about on par with the pace of Mission: Impossible III, putting its final estimate between $130 and $135 million. It has only made $7.7 million overseas so far, but that is only in Hong Kong and Russia. The film still needs another $148 million to break even. Leonardo DiCaprio’s last three films all grossed over $200 million internationally. Sony is also ready to pop the champagne on Spider-Man: Far From Home, which, with over $1.1 billion, is on the verge of passing Skyfall as the highest-grossing film in the history of the studio.

Kathleen Pollard, 2019. © CBS Films

(Photo by Kathleen Pollard, 2019. © CBS Films)

Over in the terror category, folks still preferred last week’s Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark to this week’s 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. The former is doing better than most horror films in August, currently smack dab in the middle of where Rob Zombie’s Halloween was in 2007 and what The Cell and The Possession had after 10 days. Stories’ $10 million second weekend was better than any of those films, putting a $60+ million total in play. Uncaged opened to $9 million, less than the $13 million many tracking services had figured. It is also less than the first film, which started with $11.2 million on its way to $44.3 million. With the exception of ’80s horror classics An American Werewolf in London and David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly, horror films released August that have opened to less than $10 million have not made it to $30 million total.

Looking at the summer of Sundance, we have WB/New Line’s pick-up of Blinded by the Light opening to just $4.45 million in 2,307 theaters. The distributors are certainly now hoping for some Bend It Like Beckham international numbers to make up the $15 million budget and acquisition. Then, expanding again but out of the crowded top 10, is A24’s The Farewell. It upped its theater count to 861 and grossed $1.5 million, which is down 28% from last week’s expansion to 704 theaters. Looking at a collection of films that increased from the 700 to the 800-theater range from fifth-to-sixth week, including Enough Said, Emma, Garden State, The Favourite, The Shape of Water, and Gosford Park, the 28% drop is higher than any of them, as they grossed between $1.58 million and $3.13 million. Last week we made the comparison to Garden State, and that still holds, as both films had a near identical gross after 38 days of release. The Farewell stands at $12.83 million while Garden State had $12.84 million. However, Zach Braff’s film’s expansion to 813 theaters at this point netted $2.9 million, suggesting that Lulu Wang’s film does not have the momentum to reach $25 million. That said, it still should have enough in the tank to best Amazon’s Late Night ($15.46 million) and become the highest-grossing pickup from Sundance of 2019 thus far.


This Time Last Year: Crazy Rich Asians Began an Impressive Run

Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros.

(Photo by Sanja Bucko/Warner Bros.)

One of the biggest success stories of 2018 opened this weekend when Crazy Rich Asians grossed $26.51 million on its way to a remarkable 6.58 multiple and $174+ million domestic haul. The Meg was still second with $21.15 million, and the latest Mark Wahlberg/Peter Berg collaboration, Mile 22, opened in third with $13.71 million. Albert Hughes’ prehistoric adventure tale, Alpha, finished fifth with $10.35 million. The top ten films grossed a total of $110.71 million; the second-lowest weekend of the summer at the time. Critics graded the films an average of 65.3%. This year’s top 10 grossed an estimated $101.54 million and averaged 70.5% on the Tomatometer.


On the Vine: Ready or Not, Will Audiences Fall Again for Gerard Butler?

Eric Zachanowich/ TM & copyright © Fox Searchlight Pictures

(Photo by )

The summer is definitely winding down if the week’s highlight is a new film from Gerard Butler, who has not headlined a positively-scored (non-animated) film since RocknRolla in 2008 (and even that is just barely Fresh at 60%). Nevertheless he is back to possibly conclude the “Fallen” trilogy with Angel Has Fallen. The first two films are his most successful (again as the star in a live-action film) since 2010’s The Bounty Hunter, though London Has Fallen grossed $36 million less than Olympus Has Fallen. Regardless there is also Ready or Not, a humans-hunting-humans horror-comedy that Fox Searchlight did not cancel and is hoping to draw more interest to than recent Fox films. Overcomer is the latest faith-based film from the genre’s most successful director, Alex Kendrick, whose last film, War Room, grossed over $67 million. Then in limited release is Brittany Runs a Marathon starring Jillian Bell in one of the great surprises out of Sundance this year. Amazon is hoping their pick-up will find the necessary word-of-mouth to make this a late summer expansion.


The Full Top 10: August 16-18

  1. Good Boys (2019) 80% – $21 million ($21 million total)
  2. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 68% – $14.14 million ($133.74 million total)
  3. The Lion King (2019) 52% – $11.9 million ($496.12 million total)
  4. The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) 73% – $10.5 million ($16.24 million total)
  5. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) 77% – $10.05 million ($40.22 million total)
  6. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) 45% – $9 million ($9 million total)
  7. Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) 85% – $8.5 million ($33.91 million total)
  8. Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) 85% – $7.6 million ($114.35 million total)
  9. Blinded by the Light (2019) 89% – $4.45 million ($4.45 million total)
  10. The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) 45% – $4.4 million ($16.88 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


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The Fast & Furious franchise – now in presenting mode – continued a long tradition of dropping sharply in its second weekend, though Hobbs & Shaw still made enough to hold on for the top spot at the box office for at least one more week. Teenagers did actually come close to dethroning Statham and The Rock, but it was not the kids most expected to lead the way among five new wide releases.


King of the Crop: Hobbs & Shaw Leads Weekend But Trails In Series

Frank Masi / © Universal

(Photo by © Universal Pictures)

Since the 50% drop of the surprise hit original back in 2001, the lowest drop among its sequels in their second weekend was the 59.1% for 2006’s Tokyo Drift. That was also the one film that didn’t feature Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, and it had the lowest opening ($23.97 million) and is the only film in the franchise to not gross $127 million or higher. It grossed $62.51 million, which Hobbs & Shaw nearly bested in its opening weekend. Nevertheless, the film – which had the sixth best opening of the series – dropped 57.7% from its first weekend, putting it in the league of the sequels which have fallen 59.1% to 63.9% over time.

That brings the film’s total to $108.5 million after 10 days, which is also the sixth best in the series, trailing the $116.49 million of the fourth entry, 2009’s Fast & Furious. That film made $27.23 million in weekend two (after a 61.6% drop) and finished with $155.06 million. Hobbs & Shaw is currently hovering just over Rise of the Planet of the Apes for the eighth best gross for an August release after 10 days, but that film also had a stronger second weekend with $27.83 million. The first spinoff of the Furious franchise is currently looking at a final gross between $150 million and $161 million. The global total for the $200 million production stands at $332 million.


Fresh Surprise: Could There Be More Scary Stories To Tell?

Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark

(Photo by )

CBS Films, under the Lionsgate banner, look like they may have a little hit on their hands. The $25 million production Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark had a strong start with a $20.8 million opening. Lionsgate has had a back-and-forth summer, first with the weaker-than-expected performance of Charlize Theron/Seth Rogen romantic comedy, Long Shot, and then with Luc Besson’s Anna grossing less than $8 million. But in between that they had John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. The ending of Scary Stories suggests there is hope of turning this into a series (so many stories to still tackle), and surely Lionsgate hopes it can outlast some of its 2019 horror counterparts until It: Chapter Two opens after Labor Day and leaves them all in the dust.

The Stories opening is slightly better than Annabelle Comes Home’s $20.26 million. (The Wednesday opener had $17.46 million in its first three days.) The Pet Sematary remake and The Curse of La Llorona (both “R”-rated) opened to $26.34 million and $24.50 million, respectively, and finished with nearly identical grosses of $54.73 million and $54.72 million. The “PG-13”-rated Escape Room opened to $18.23 million and finished with $57 million. Scary Stories ranks as the eighth best horror opening ever in August, ahead of The Last Exorcism ($20.36 million) and Exorcist: The Beginning ($18.05 million), both of which also finished with nearly identical totals of $41.03 million and $41.82 million, respectively. On first glance, Scary Stories sets a first estimate somewhere between $41 million and $59 million.


Rotten Returns: A Rough Weekend for Stories About Crime and Unfair Punishment

The Kitchen

(Photo by Alison Cohen Rosa / © Warner Bros.)

Audiences were either unaware or unwilling to attend the true story of a 2002 NFL prospect falsely accused of rape, Brian Banks. This was only the fifth wide opening in Bleecker Street’s five-year history and the $2.1 million start – not enough to crack the top 10 – translated into their third-worst per-theater-average ($1,492), ahead of only Elvis & Nixon’s $1,224 PTA in 381 theaters back in 2016 and their release of Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation ($1,645 in 31 theaters). The studio had their fourth highest-grossing film ever this year back in March with Hotel Mumbai ($9.65 million) and released The Art of Self-Defense last month, which has grossed $2.41 million to date.

Looking even worse, though, is Warner Bros.’ The Kitchen. The movie’s 20% Tomatometer score makes it not just one of the worst-reviewed films of the summer – down with The Hustle  (14%) and Men In Black International (22%) – but one of the 10 worst-reviewed wide releases of 2019. Last year, WB did not have a film open to less than $10 million; with $5.51 million this weekend, The Kitchen becomes the third WB movie to open with less than $10 million this summer after The Sun Is Also A Star ($2.51 million) and Shaft ($8.90 million). They had four films open with less than $10 million in 2017. Last summer’s The Happytime Murders, with Melissa McCarthy, opened to $9.53 million. It was her lowest opening as a headliner to date – until The Kitchen.


The Top 10 and Beyond: Dora Gets Slightly Lost as Disney Continues to Rack Up Milestones

Dora and the Lost City of Gold (Paramount Pictures)

(Photo by © Paramount Pictures)

There were still two more wide releases this week and the results were not great for either. Many actually gave Dora and the Lost City of Gold a puncher’s chance of knocking Hobbs & Shaw from the top spot, but it could not even beat Scary Stories. A $17 million opening is not the end of the world, but the $49 million production is going to need some help to turn a profit. That opening is about on par with the August release of Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams ($16.71 million) back in 2002, a film which went on to gross $85.84 million. Though that would require a 5x multiple over opening weekend, something only four films opening in more than 2,000 theaters have achieved this millennium: Crazy Rich Asians (6.58x), The Help (6.51x), We’re the Millers (5.69x), and The 40 Year-Old Virgin (5.1x).

The Art of Racing in the Rain, this week’s final wide release, did about half of Dora’s business, making just a little more ($8.1 million) than this summer’s sequel to A Dog’s Purpose, A Dog’s Journey ($8.03 million). Advertised as being from the studio that brought you Marley & Me, nobody expected it to reach that film’s heights. Though without any decent word-of-mouth, the film will likely not even reach the $32.64 million that Fox’s 2005 dog drama, Because of Winn-Dixie, made nor will it touch the $36.35 million that Marley grossed in its opening weekend.

Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures

(Photo by Andrew Cooper / © Columbia Pictures)

Over to some films that can certainly register as success stories. The Lion King has grossed $473.1 million, which is the ninth best ever after 24 days of release. Even though the top 15 films on that list had stronger fourth weekends, the film is still headed for $530 million-to-$540 million domestic. With $1.33 billion worldwide, the film is just $12.3 million away from becoming one of the 10 highest-grossing films of all time. Then we have Toy Story 4, which is just $10 million away from crossing the billion dollar line and is currently the 43rd highest-grossing film ever; it is also just $7.3 million away from passing Captain Marvel to become the 3rd-highest domestic grosser of 2019. Spider-Man: Far From Home was already over the billion mark before the weekend; this week it will crack the $1.1 billion mark and is close to entering the top 25 all-time earners, even if it will come up short of $400 million domestic.

Then we have a film that is not a sequel, not a comic book film, not a live-action remake, and not a Pokémon. Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood became the first original film of the summer – and just second of 2019 joining Jordan Peele’s Us – to gross over $100 million. Speaking of gross, Tarantino’s acclaimed film is actually right on pace with, of all films, Grown Ups 2, which grossed a virtually identical $11.6 million in its third weekend and had $101.76 million after 17 days. It ultimately grossed $133.66 million and there is a good chance that Hollywood will eventually pass that number, too.

The Farewell (A24)

(Photo by © A24)

Finally, A24 brought The Farewell into wide release this weekend, putting it in 704 theaters (up from last week’s 409). Lulu Wang’s film, Certified Fresh at 99% on the Tomatometer, grossed just $2.2 million this weekend, which pales in comparison to other fifth-week releases between 650-750 theaters. The bulk of them are films which got their expansions during awards season, which is an entirely different beast. But there are comparable summer releases out of Sundance like Zach Braff’s Garden State, which was in its second week of wide release in 745 theaters grossing $2.79 million, and the documentary sensation, March of the Penguins, which expanded into wide release on weekend five (695 theaters) and grossed $4.38 million.

Though there is also a glass-half-full situation as well, as long as A24 continues to expand and keeps chipping its way forward with a million or two each week. Garden State had $8.85 million after a month of release (The Farewell is at $10.32 million), never grossed higher than $3.02 million in a weekend, and was never in more than 813 theaters. It ended up grossing $26.7 million.


This Time Last Year: A Big Shark, A Slender Man, and a Black Klansman Opened

JASON STATHAM as Jonas Taylor in Warner Bros. Pictures' and Gravity Pictures' science fiction action thriller "THE MEG." (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

All 75 feet of The Meg took the number 1 spot at the box office. The giant shark film grossed $45.4 million and began a climb to over $530 million worldwide. The horror film Slender Man grossed $11.37 million for fourth place, while Spike Lee’s Oscar-winning BlacKkKlansman opened to $10.84 million. In milestones, Ant-Man and the Wasp crossed the $200 million mark and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again passed $100 million. The top 10 films grossed $126.97 million and averaged 64.7% on the Tomatometer; this year’s top 10 grossed $120.32 million and averaged 67.1% with critics.


On the Vine: Another Crowded Weekend Led by Potty Mouths And Angry Birds

(Photo by © Universal Pictures)

It is another packed weekend that could be led by Good Boys, the Seth Rogen production featuring the “R”-rated adventures of Jacob Tremblay, Brady Noon, and Keith L. Williams. Will audiences return for a second flock of The Angry Birds Movie 2 or will it fall victim to the August animation trap right as kids return to school? The same question can be asked of 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, the sequel to the minor sharkbait hit of 2017. Richard Linklater teams with Cate Blanchett on the delayed Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which is his first film not to play any film festivals prior to release since his 2005 remake of Bad News Bears. Finally, one of the sensations of this year’s Sundance was Gurinder Chadha’s Blinded by the Lightstarring Viveik Kalra as a guy who becomes inspired to live out his dream as a writer thanks to the music of Bruce Springsteen.


The Full Top 10: August 9-11

  1. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 68% – $25.4 million ($108.51 million total)
  2. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019) 77% – $20.8 million ($20.8 million total)
  3. The Lion King (2019) 52% – $20 million ($473.1 million total)
  4. Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) 85% – $17 million ($17 million total)
  5. Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) 85% – $11.6 million ($100.33 million total)
  6. The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) 45% – $8.1 million ($8.1 million total)
  7. The Kitchen (2019) 23% – $5.51 million ($5.51 million total)
  8. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) 90% – $5.3 million ($370.97 million total)
  9. Toy Story 4 (2019) 97% – $4.4 million ($419.57 million total)
  10. The Farewell (2019) 97% – $2.21 million ($10.32 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


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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.


King of the Crop: Hobbs & Shaw Leads Weekend But Trails Franchise Numbers

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (Universal)

(Photo by Universal)

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.


Fresh Surprise: Adult Fare  Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood Finds an Audience

Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood (Columbia Pictures)

(Photo by Columbia Pictures)

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 Top 10 and Beyond: Four Films Continue To Climb the All-Time Chart

The Lion King (Walt Disney Pictures)

(Photo by Walt Disney Pictures)

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.


Limited Release News: The Farewell Joins Impressive Company

The Farewell (A24)

(Photo by A24)

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.


This Time Last Year: Pooh No Match For Ethan Hunt

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (Paramount Pictures)

(Photo by Paramount Pictures)

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.


On the Vine: Onslaught of New Releases Hope To Take Over Half the Top 10

Dora and the Lost City of Gold (Paramount Pictures)

(Photo by )

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.


The Full Top 10: August 2-4

  1. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019) 68% – $60.8 million ($60.8 million total)
  2. The Lion King (2019) 52% – $38.25 million ($430.89 million total)
  3. Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) 85% – $20.02 million ($78.84 million total)
  4. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) 90% – $7.76 million ($360.33 million total)
  5. Toy Story 4 (2019) 97% – $7.15 million ($410.05 million total)
  6. Yesterday (2019) 64% – $2.44 million ($67.9 million total)
  7. The Farewell (2019) 97% – $2.43 million ($6.84 million total)
  8. Crawl (2019) 84% – $2.15 million ($36.1 million total)
  9. Aladdin (2019) 57% – $2.01 million ($350.37 million total)
  10. Annabelle Comes Home (2019) 64% – $875,000 ($71.58 million total)

Erik Childress can be heard each week evaluating box office on WGN Radio with Nick Digilio as well as on Business First AM with Angela Miles and his Movie Madness Podcast.

[box office figures via Box Office Mojo]


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