Box office hits and misses: ‘Fate of the Furious’ crosses $1 billion as ‘The Circle’ unravels

'The Fate of the Furious' review
It was a foregone conclusion that The Fate of the Furious would cross the $1 billion mark worldwide in a relatively short time, and apparently the magic number for the Universal Pictures blockbuster was three, as it took just three weeks for the film to hit the prestigious box-office milestone.

The eighth film in the Fast and the Furious franchise added another $19.3 million in U.S. theaters for its third consecutive weekend as the highest-grossing movie, and it also became the fifth film from Universal Pictures to pass $1 billion worldwide. It now joins Jurassic WorldMinionsJurassic Park, and its series predecessor, Furious 7, in that elite group.

Surprisingly, though, it wasn’t The Fate of the Furious that had a lot of box-office pundits buzzing.

# Title Weekend U.S. Total Worldwide Total
1. The Fate of the Furious $19.3M $192.7M $1B
2. How to be a Latin Lover $12M $12M $12M
3. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion $10.1M $10.1M $10.1M
4. The Circle $9.3M $9.3M $9.3M
5. The Boss Baby $9M $148.4M $396.6M
6. Beauty and the Beast $6.4M $480.1M $1.1B
7. Going in Style $3.5M $37.3M $61.5M
8. Smurfs: The Lost Village $3.3M $37.7M $155.5M
9. Gifted $3.3M $15.8M $15.9M
10. Unforgettable $2.3M $8.8M $11.8M

Finishing in second and third place for the week were the new releases How to be a Latin Lover and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, respectively, which both outperformed expectations and enjoyed impressive opening weekends despite screening in just over 1,500 theaters collectively. Both films received rave reviews from audiences, with the comedy How to be a Latin Lover receiving an “A” grade on audience review aggregator CinemaScore and Baahubali 2 setting a new premiere record for Indian films in the U.S.

The outlook wasn’t nearly as positive for The Circle, director James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of Dave Eggers’ novel of the same name. Despite the film’s impressive cast that includes Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, Karen Gillan, John Boyega, and Patton Oswalt, the thriller brought in just $9.3 million to go along with an abyssmal “D+” grade on CinemaScore and a mere 17-percent “Fresh” rating on professional review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

As for the rest of the weekend’s top films, it was all returning features either adding to their gaudy numbers so far — a la Beauty and the Beast and The Boss Baby — or films desperately trying to eke out a few more weeks of ticket sales in the midst of disappointing runs (such as Unforgettable and The Promise). However, there were a few noteworthy elements outside the weekend’s top performers.

Thriller Get Out extended its already impressive run by expanding into almost 600 additional theaters despite being in its 10th week in theaters, and the gamble paid off. Jordan Peele’s scary story successfully increased its week-to-week numbers by nearly 3 percent — generally unheard of at this point in a film’s run — and brought its domestic gross up to $172.5 million so far.

This upcoming week will be the end of the box-office reign of The Fate of the Furious with Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 assured of winning the weekend — and very likely setting a few records of its own if it comes close to meeting pundits’ predictions for the film’s debut. Studios wisely avoided putting many other films up against Guardians of the Galaxy, so there aren’t many new releases outside of the horror film The Autopsy of Jane Doe and the drama The Dinner.

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