'The Fate of the Furious' seeks a fast, furious $100 million-plus opening


Last weekend was a bit of a snoozer, with a pair of new wide releases—Smurfs: The Lost Village and Going in Style—failing to nudge holdovers The Boss Baby and Beauty and the Beast out of the top two spots. This week things are looking a bit better, as the eighth installment of the always-reliable (well, since Fast Five, anyway) Fast and Furious franchise speeds into 4,311 theatres, an April high. The franchise’s biggest opening belongs to Furious 7, which bowed to $147.1 million two years ago. The Fate of the Furious isn’t expected to get there, but it should easily pass the $100 million mark, giving it the second-highest opening in the history of the franchise.

Other movies are more or less staying out of Fate’s way. Animated offering Spark: A Space Tail opens in a 353 theatres; that modest theatre count, plus a lack of press screenings and a basement-level marketing profile all form a picture of a soon-to-be-forgotten movie that won’t crack the top ten.

Holdovers The Boss Baby, Beauty and the Beast, Smurfs: The Lost Village and Going in Style should comprise the Vin Diesel-less portion of the top five, with Beauty and the Beast inching ever closer to the $500 million domestic mark. (It passed $1 billion worldwide earlier this week.) Gifted, which opened on 56 screens last week, expands to 1,146 screens. Second-week holdover The Case for Christ holds more or less steady with its theatre count, and the Easter holiday should keep its drop fairly small. Finally, Bleecker Street Media releases James Gray’s The Lost City of Z into four theatres.