The eighth installment of the enduring Fast & Furious franchise, and the final springtime tentpole release, arrives in cinemas this weekend. To no surprise, the film promises to extend 2017’s remarkable string of successes as it looks to likely become the second highest April opener — and third highest Easter weekend debut — of all-time. Our final forecast and analysis:
The Fate of the Furious
- There’s not much left to be said that hasn’t been already about the franchise’s hugely successful chemistry of action-driven spectacle, popcorn entertainment, and themes about family among a highly diverse cast. Once again, the Easter weekend release date should make this a hugely appealing choice for fans.
- Tracking has been notably consistent as it shows interest levels among surveyed audiences to be a few ticks stronger than 2013’s Fast & Furious 6.
- Generally healthy reviews from critics are backing up what has been an onslaught of high-octane marketing in recent months as much as they need to. The film’s screening at CinemaCon also generated positive reactions.
- Dwayne Johnson’s elevated role (relative to Furious 7), plus the flip of Vin Diesel into the effective “villain” of the film, have piqued fan interest for where the story may go at this point. Ditto for the casting of Charlize Theron as the female antagonist, whose stock as an action star has skyrocketed since Mad Max: Fury Road‘s success.
- With over 60.5 million fans on Facebook, the series remains one of the premiere examples of how social media is an integral player in a film’s life cycle. That has absolutely been true again for this film.
- As we discussed in our long range forecast two months ago, the franchise is in new and unfortunate territory without its original star. The cast and crew have made it well known these films are largely made in tribute to the late Paul Walker, but any direct comparisons to Furious 7‘s mammoth box office success are largely irrelevant because of the interest his final role created among moviegoers.
- As a cautionary tale, franchise fatigue among audiences is always a risk for any series cranking out sequels consistently over a long period of time. The good news for Universal is that even with the assumption the series has already peaked domestically, it should easily remain a big player in the international field over the course of this release, plus the ninth and tenth films already in the pipeline.
Check out our weekend forecast in the table below.
|Title||Distributor||Weekend||Domestic Total through Sunday, April 16||% Change|
|The Fate of the Furious||Universal||$118,000,000||$118,000,000||NEW|
|The Boss Baby||Fox||$15,820,000||$115,330,000||-39.99%|
|Beauty and the Beast (2017)||Buena Vista||$14,000,000||$453,870,000||-40.81%|
|Going in Style (2017)||Warner Bros. (New Line)||$7,760,000||$25,030,000||-34.97%|
|Smurfs: The Lost Village||Sony / Columbia||$6,610,000||$24,460,000||-49.96%|
|Ghost in the Shell (2017)||Paramount||$3,650,000||$38,350,000||-50.04%|
|Kong: Skull Island||Warner Bros.||$3,620,000||$162,140,000||-35.08%|
|Power Rangers (2017)||Lionsgate||$2,790,000||$80,490,000||-55.00%|
Shawn Robbins and Alex Edghill contributed to this report.