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‘Furious 7′ Shifts Into High Gear With $67M To $68M Friday And May Hit $150M


furious 73rd UPDATE, Saturday 7:10 AM: It’s systematic. Hydromatic. Automatic. After burning rubber on Thursday night, Furious 7 came in right about where we had estimated last night as we thought it might edge between $148M and $150M with Universal Pictures thinking this AM that its greased lighting in a bottle could push to $149.5M. Others are thinking, depending on today’s moviegoing, it could race past $150M. It had a Friday night of between $67M and $68M (with $15.8M of that from its Thursday preview). While the nation’s top grossing theaters were in New York and Texas (see below for the specific locations), the smaller markets (many of those that Rentrak doesn’t cover) are also doing gangbuster business.
It is already breaking all sorts of records (see below) and if the street racing picture holds to only a 25% drop today and tonight, we are looking at the James Wan-directed installment edging ever so close to the title of largest pre-summer bow; 2012’s Hunger Games currently holds that crown with $152.5M. The success of furious beast may push the year-to-year box office up around 36% to 39% from last year which, itself, was up 8% from 2013.
Last weekend’s Top Ten moved down a notch after that. As more estimated come in this AM, Disney’s fairy tale Cinderella and Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series: Insurgent are still too close to call for the No. 4 spot. However, Home, which took No. 1 last weekend, is expected to drop 47% for second place to gross about $27.8M, while the comedy Get Hard is losing its strength to drop 60% for $13.5M. More to come as more estimates roll in.
The other opener is Woman in Gold which should bring in $1.8M for the weekend for The Weinstein Co. after a seventh place showing on only 258 screens. Noteworthy is the Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts comedy While We’re Young which will end up with a per screen average of about $13K in limited release of only 34 locales.
Amanda N’Duka contributed to this report.
Here’s the chart but numbers and positions will likely change in the morning.
1).  Furious 7 (UNI), 4,004 theaters / $67M to $68M Fri. / 3-day cume: $149.5M to $152M / Wk 1
2). Home (FOX/DW), 3,801 theaters (+93) / $11.4M Fri. / 3-day cume: $27.8M (-47%) / Total cume: $95.7M to $96.1M / Wk 2
3). Get Hard (WB), 3,212 theaters (+37) / $4.8M to $5M Fri. / 3-day cume: $13.5M (-60%) / Total cume: $57.6M / Wk 2
4/5). Cinderella (DIS), 3,404 theaters (-411) / $4.1M Fri. / 3-day cume: $9.6M to $11M / Total cume: $167M / Wk 4
Insurgent (LG), 3,442 theaters (-433) / $4M Fri. / 3-day cume: $10M+ (-52%) / Total cume: $103.6M / Wk 3
6). It Follows (RAD), 1,655 theaters (+437) / $917K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2.4M / Total cume: $8.45M / Wk 4
7). Woman in Gold (TWC), 258 theaters (+230) / $613K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.8M / Total cume: $1.8M
8). Kingsman: The Secret Service (FOX), 1,327 theaters (-458) / $635K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.7M / Total cume: $122.3M / Wk 8
9). Do You Believe? (PF), 1,218 theaters (-138) / $534K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.5M / Total cume: $9.85M / Wk 3
10). The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (FSL), 1,060 theaters (-438) / $355K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1M / Total cume: $30.1M / Wk 5
2nd UPDATE, Friday, 11:13 PM: After a $15.8M turbo Thursday preview, Friday has gone into overdrive with an expected $67M to $68M gross for Furious 7 which could put it anywhere around $148M to $150M. It will break records this weekend as the as biggest April opening ever as well as most likely the second-largest pre-summer bow in history only behind The Hunger Games ($152.5M), which debuted in March of 2012. It is also, to date, the biggest opening of 2015 — a year that is expected to be full of box office records. Furious 7 is also to be the biggest opening weekend of all the Fast and Furious franchise film, surpassing F6‘s opening $97.3M by roughly 43%. This installment received the widest release ever for both the studio (with 4,004 theaters) and on IMAX (with 365). 
Paul WalkerThe biggest grossing theaters in the nation right now showing F7 are in New York and Texas. The top three are the Empire 25 (with IMAX) in New York, the Paladium 22 in Houston (with IMAX) and Paladium 19 (with IMAX) in San Antonio. The fourth and fifth biggest grossers are another theater in Houston and then LA Live in Los Angeles. And, AMC Fresh Meadows 7 in The Big Apple has been having to add showtimes around the clock to accommodate audience demand.
Internationally, the James Wan-directed F7 enjoyed the highest-grossing Thursday ever of all time in 15 territories and in two days has already grossed $60M. It was the top opener ever for Universal in 25 territories, including key markets of Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy and Mexico.
The big question is how Furious 7 will hold up tomorrow. Will this picture make most of its money today and tonight? Well, with an A CinemaScore and mostly positive reviews, word of mouth should carry it well down the highway. And there is no competition from any other picture. The average multiple is 3.6, however industry observers are expecting it to fall off more quickly although there is nothing really challenging the film until May 1st when Marvel/Disney’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron bows. As unfortunate as Paul Walker’s death was in 2013 when the 40 year-old actor was in a speeding car when it crashed, his appearance in this movie is what many fans want to see.
Traditionally, moviegoing peaks on Good Friday and then falls off a bit on Easter Sunday because people tend to stay home with their families. This year, we have about 80% of kids flooding the marketplace so moviegoing will benefit from that. Will the traditional moviegoing pattern hold this year? We’ll see. Last year, we saw an 8% rise from the previous Easter holiday weekHelen Mirren Woman In Goldend. This year, fueled by the phenomenal success of F7should be another nice year-to-year increase.
The other opener in the Top Ten is Woman in Gold (TWC) which bowed on Wednesday and then expanded this weekend to debut with what is expected to a $1.8M three-day weekend. The Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds period drama should make about $600K Friday.
Weekend Box Office: 'Home' Beating 'Get Hard'DreamWorks Animation’s delightful family film Home in its second weekend is holding strong, expected only to drop 45%, to gross about $28.7M for distributor Fox. To date, it’s well on its way to crossing the $100M mark with a total cume expected in of $96.98M. It was well-received by its core audience last weekend with an A CinemaScore.
Get HardMeanwhile, Get Hard is getting soft. The comedy starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart, is going to have a 60% drop or so in its sophomore frame. The buddy comedy was not that well received by critics, but has pulled in roughly $57.6M. We expect around $12.8M this weekend.
The fourth and fifth spots are tough to call with the numbers that we currently have. Disney’s animated Cinderella looks like a $4.2M Friday for a weekend gross of $10M+ and Lionsgate’s Insurgent which grossed an estimated $4M today may end up around $10M+ as well. The good news for Insurgent, the second of Lionsgate’s hopeful franchise, is that it just crossed $100M in its third weekend of release. It will pass $200M worldwide this weekend.
It Follows, the RADiUS art-house horror hybrid which added 437 theaters in its fourth weekend of expansion, still dropped around 47% from last weekend. Over the three-day with an estimated $2M+, the picture should make a total cume of $8M+ on what was considered a shoestring budget; it has implemented a grassroots marketing campaign in hopes of creating a cult following. This picture may gross a Friday take of of around $900K.
NOTEWORTHY: While We Were Young, the Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts comedy from A24, has a nice per screen average in its second weekend of release with what looks to be a little over $11K.
Here’s the chart but numbers and positions will likely change in the morning.
1).  Furious 7 (UNI), 4,004 theaters / $67M to $68M Fri. / 3-day cume: $148M to $150M / Wk 1
2). Home (FOX/DW), 3,801 theaters (+93) / $11.7M Fri. / 3-day cume: $28.7M (-47%) / Total cume: $96.98M / Wk 2
3). Get Hard (WB), 3,212 theaters (+37) / $4.8M to $5M Fri. / 3-day cume: $12.8M (-61%) / Total cume: $57.6M / Wk 2
4/5). Cinderella (DIS), 3,404 theaters (-411) / $4.18M Fri. / 3-day cume: $10M+ / Total cume: $166.5M / Wk 4
Insurgent (LG), 3,442 theaters (-433) / $4M Fri. / 3-day cume: $10M+ (-52%) / Total cume: $103.7M / Wk 3
6). It Follows (RAD), 1,655 theaters (+437) / $900K Fri. / 3-day cume: $2M+ / Total cume: $8M+ / Wk 4
7). Woman in Gold (TWC), 258 theaters (+230) / $612K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.8M / Total cume: $1.8M
8). Kingsman: The Secret Service (FOX), 1,327 theaters (-458) / $640K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.8M / Total cume: $122.36M / Wk 8
9). Do You Believe? (PF), 1,218 theaters (-138) / $540K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1.75M / Total cume: $10M / Wk 3
10). The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (FSL), 1,060 theaters (-438) / $356K Fri. / 3-day cume: $1M / Total cume: $30.1M / Wk 5
UPDATED, Friday, 5:18 PM: Furious 7 Early Returns Shows Massive Friday
More early results have come in for Furious 7 and estimates have risen now. Industry observers are now saying that Friday’s haul could be in the range of $56M to $60M with an upwards of $130M to $138M for the three-day weekend. Whether this will be a front-loaded Friday is yet unknown. If so, it could slink backwards a bit, closer to $130M. Regardless, this is a mash-up monster at the box office. The highest estimate we’ve heard today for F7‘s Easter weekend holiday tank is $145M. More to come as numbers roll in later this evening.
PREVIOUSLY FRIDAY, 1:00 PM: It’s early … way early … but given the competition of reporting on box office and considering last night’s $15.8M haul, an early peek this afternoon at matinees shows Furious 7 is packing a punch in Friday moviegoingSome box office observers are saying it looks like a $50M to $56M day for maybe a $125M three-day gross. Some think higher, like $130M. Furious 7 is enjoying the largest wide release in both Universal Studios and IMAX’s history and the fact that so many kids are in the marketplace today — about 80% of kids — who love this franchise. Also, no other wide releases opened this weekend so it was able to get together 4,003 playdates.
If this estimate holds, the franchise on nitrous will have blasted Captain America: The Winter Soldier from the track to take back its crown as biggest April opening ever. It could be the second-largest pre-summer bow in history only behind 2012’sThe Hunger Games ($152.5M), which debuted on March 23rd. In 2010, Alice in Wonderland grabbed $116.1M when it was released on March 5.
It could be in the $120M to $125M range but some think, $130M or higher. It really depends on the late nights and also how many cylinders the picture will be running on tomorrow. In other words, will it be front-loaded?  Once again, and we can’t stress this enough, it’s early. However, this is a movie that has a lot of goodwill, good reviews and a strong want-to-see factor, so it’s anyone’s guess right now what the final three-day gross will be once the dust clears on Monday morning.
Will post another update in a couple of hours when more numbers flow in. Stay tuned.
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