‘Fu­ri­ous’ ex­pected to cross $1 bil­lion in sales

The Washington Times Daily - - LIFE - BY LIND­SEY BAHR

LOS ANGELES | “The Fate of the Fu­ri­ous” sped into first place at the box of­fice again, leav­ing new thriller “Unforgettable” and his­tor­i­cal drama “The Prom­ise” in the dust.

Univer­sal Pic­tures’ eighth in­stall­ment in “The Fast and the Fu­ri­ous” fran­chise earned $38.7 mil­lion over the week­end, down 61 per­cent from its de­but, ac­cord­ing to stu­dio es­ti­mates Sun­day.

The new com­pe­ti­tion didn’t stand a chance against the high-oc­tane film, which had the big­gest world­wide open­ing of all time last week­end. It’s ex­pected to cross $1 bil­lion glob­ally this week.

Holdovers dom­i­nated the charts on this quiet week­end in the­aters. “The Boss Baby” took sec­ond place with $12.8 mil­lion, and “Beauty and the Beast” landed in third with $10 mil­lion.

Dis­ney’s animal doc­u­men­tary “Born in China” opened in fourth place, with $5.1 mil­lion from 1,508 lo­ca­tions. The two other new movies fared worse.

Warner Bros. thriller “Unforgettable,” star­ring Kather­ine Heigl as a jeal­ous ex-wife and Rosario Daw­son as the new fi­ancée, opened at No. 7 with just $4.8 mil­lion. Crit­ics were tough on the film, and au­di­ences gave it a deathly C Cine­maS­core rat­ing.

The di­rec­to­rial de­but of long­time pro­ducer Denise Di Novi cost only $12 mil­lion to make, but the mea­ger re­sult still dis­ap­pointed.

“Un­for­tu­nately, the movie just missed the in­tended au­di­ence,” said Jeff Gold­stein, Warner Bros.’ pres­i­dent of do­mes­tic dis­tri­bu­tion. “We had higher expectations, and we’re dis­ap­pointed we didn’t achieve them.”

There is a sil­ver lin­ing for the stu­dio. The buddy com­edy “Go­ing in Style,” star­ring Mor­gan Free­man, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, is chug­ging along af­ter three weeks in the­aters, tak­ing fifth place with $5 mil­lion.

Mean­while, the his­tor­i­cal epic “The Prom­ise,” star­ring Oscar Isaac and Chris­tian Bale, bombed with a mere $4.1 mil­lion from 2,251 the­aters.

The movie delves into the mass killings of Ar­me­ni­ans in Ot­toman Turkey that many coun­tries and most his­to­ri­ans call geno­cide. Turkey still de­nies geno­cide, say­ing the deaths stemmed from civil un­rest and war.

It’s not a sur­prise the film, which was es­ti­mated to cost around $100 mil­lion to make, failed to gain trac­tion, comS­core se­nior media an­a­lyst Paul Der­garabe­dian said.

“It didn’t re­ally jump out as any­thing that would be a sur­pris­ing box-of­fice hit,” Mr. Der­garabe­dian said. “But it wasn’t re­ally about the box of­fice.”

Made out­side the stu­dio sys­tem and dis­trib­uted by Open Road Films, the point of “The Prom­ise” was to raise aware­ness about a global event that many know noth­ing about, he said.

Celebri­ties, such as Kim Kar­dashian West and Cher, pro­moted the film on so­cial media. Its mak­ers said they will do­nate all pro­ceeds to non­prof­its and in­tend to use the PG-13-rated film as an ed­u­ca­tion tool in schools.

“It was a tough week­end in gen­eral for the new­com­ers,” Mr. Der­garabe­dian said, not­ing that many movie­go­ers are likely sav­ing up for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” which hits the­aters May 5.

“It’s a quiet pe­riod,” he added. “This is the in­ter­lude be­tween the spring movie sea­son and what prom­ises to be the big­gest sum­mer movie sea­son ever.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

“The Fate of the Fu­ri­ous” left its com­pe­ti­tion in the dust — by earn­ing $38.7 mil­lion over the week­end.

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