Long Range Forecast: ‘The Fate of the Furious’

This week’s edition of the Long Range Forecast marks the addition of the highly anticipated eighth Fast & Furious film, The Fate of the Furious.

After so many episodes, there’s some degree of predictability to the performance of a given franchise. The tragic and untimely passing of Paul Walker changed the status quo with 2015’s Furious 7, which greatly eclipsed the series’ predecessors and went on to earn $353 million domestically — a 48 percent spike above the previous top earner, Fast & Furious 6 ($239 million). It capped that success by earning a staggering $1.52 billion globally, which currently stands as the sixth highest of any film in history.

The writers and producers have introduced an intriguing turn of events in this eighth film by turning Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto under the influence of Charlize Theron’s (apparent) new main villain. With director F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta ComptonThe Italian Job) directing, we can probably expect another healthy dose of action set pieces supported by the kind of family-themed drama the series has built its foundation on. Reactions to the film’s first trailer have been mostly positive across social media channels.

That being said, and with all sincere respect to Mr. Walker and his family, the cold reality of analysis suggests Furious 7’s performance won’t be repeatable. That film drew a significant amount of interest outside the core Fast fan base from casual audiences because it was Walker’s final film, and the writers were able to harness the real life tragedy in a way that ended the story of his character in an incredibly tasteful, emotional, and well-received way. As a result (and because he was technically the series’ leading protagonist from the outset), the seventh film felt to many like the end of several key story arcs, and arguably could have served as an appropriate end to the series.

Fate of the Furious ultimately deserves to be judged on its own merits, though. There is still an incredible (and expanding) ensemble cast driving this franchise, and it’s more than possible that blockbuster numbers will be attainable given Universal’s plans for two more installments already in place (indicating new story arcs will drive these next three films). Global revenues should again challenge for the $1 billion+ mark. At this time, though, we’re expecting Fate to mark the first film-to-film domestic box office decline the series has experienced since Tokyo Drift eleven years ago — but it will also undoubtedly be one of the biggest performers of 2017’s first half.

Check out our forecast for this and other upcoming films in the table below.

Release Date Title 3-Day Wide Opening % Chg from Last Week Domestic Total % Chg from Last Week Location Count Distributor
2/24/2017 Collide $3,900,000 -3% $8,100,000 -23% 2,000 Open Road
2/24/2017 Get Out $24,000,000 $69,000,000 2,700 Universal
2/24/2017 Rock Dog $2,900,000 -3% $6,900,000 -1% 2,500 Lionsgate / Summit Premiere
3/3/2017 Before I Fall $4,200,000 -40% $10,800,000 -40% 2,700 Open Road
3/3/2017 Logan $79,000,000 -2% $205,000,000 3,900 Fox
3/3/2017 The Shack $6,000,000 $22,000,000 1,700 Lionsgate / Summit
3/10/2017 Kong: Skull Island $40,000,000 +14% $113,000,000 +13% Warner Bros.
3/10/2017 T2: Trainspotting n/a n/a Sony / TriStar
3/17/2017 Beauty and the Beast (2017) $144,000,000 $470,000,000 Disney
3/17/2017 The Belko Experiment $7,000,000 $16,000,000 High Top Releasing
3/24/2017 CHiPS $16,000,000 $53,000,000 Warner Bros.
3/24/2017 Life (2017) $15,000,000 $50,000,000 Sony / Columbia
3/24/2017 Power Rangers $38,000,000 $110,000,000 Lionsgate
3/31/2017 The Boss Baby $24,000,000 $83,000,000 Fox / DreamWorks Animation
3/31/2017 Ghost in the Shell (2017) $40,000,000 $105,000,000 Paramount / DreamWorks
3/31/2017 Step Sisters n/a n/a Broad Green Pictures
3/31/2017 The Zookeeper’s Wife $5,000,000 $19,000,000 Focus Features
4/7/2017 The Case for Christ $3,500,000 $14,000,000 Pure Flix
4/7/2017 Going In Style (2017) $12,500,000 $49,000,000 Warner Bros. / New Line
4/7/2017 Smurfs: The Lost Village $21,500,000 $78,500,000 Sony / Columbia
4/14/2017 The Fate of the Furious $110,000,000 NEW $264,000,000 NEW Universal
4/14/2017 Spark $3,000,000 NEW $7,500,000 NEW Open Road

Forecasts in this article represent expectations based on current buzz as measured by various tracking metrics and should not be treated as final predictions for any film.

Shawn Robbins, Alex Edghill, and Jesse Rifkin contributed to this report.

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