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411 Box Office Report: F9 Reigns For Second Week, Forever Purge Starts Well

July 4, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
F9: The Fast Saga Vin Diesel John Cena Image Credit: Universal Pictures

As expected, F9: The Fast Saga continued to reign at the box office this weekend although the new competition performed well. The latest Fast & Furious film brought in $24 million over the three-day weekend and a projected $32.7 million four-day take to claim the top spot this weekend. That would be down 66% if you only include the three-day, but that’s never an apple-to-apples comparison when holiday weekends come into play. Either way, it’s an expected hold for the film and brings the film to $111.7 million domestically through Sunday.

F9 is the latest example of the box office recovering from the pandemic, becoming the fastest to $100 million since theaters shut down back in March of last year. It passed the mark in eight days, compared to A Quiet Place Part II’s 15-day road to the $100 million mark. F9 has grossed another $374.4 million overseas for $491.5 million, which means that it should become the first film since the pandemic started to gross $500 million worldwide. The film is looking likely to make it to $170 million domestically without an issue and will be an expected hit for Universal.

Universal had a very good weekend on the whole. as did the box office where every film in the top 10 grossed at least $1 million for the three-day take for the first time during the pandemic. The top three films were Universal entries, with The Boss Baby: Family Business coming in at #2 with $17.4 million through Sunday and an estimated $23.1 million through Monday. Those numbers are quite strong, especially considering the film simultaneously released on Peacock to help drive subscribers there. The Boss Baby sequel was of course well below the $50.2 million opening weekend of the first film in March of 2017, but a $20 million-plus holiday weekend take is perfectly fine especially for a film that critics were even more mild on (46% on RT) than the original film.

Boss Baby has barely begun its international rollout, with just $1.5 million from three territories to date. The international gross was a big boost to the original film, and we’ll have to see if it holds similar water here. The sequel’s worldwide take through Sunday is $18.9 million and it has a long way to go to hit its $82 million production budget, but it should be able hit profit when all is said and done. Domestically it seems likely to gross the $65 million mark at least.

Coming in at #3 was Universal’s The Forever Purge, which lit up the box office for horror fans with $12.8 million through Sunday and a projected $15.9 million through Sunday. That’s right on target for the fifth Purge film, and isn’t far off from the $17.4 million opening weekend of The First Purge in 2018. Forever Purge may be the least-loved of the franchise critically (45% on RT) since the original film, but it’s performing quite well among filmgoers with a 79% approval form users on Rotten Tomatoes and a B- CinemaScore, which is above the typical C average for horror.

Universal’s triple win at the box office is quite the accomplishment; it’s something that not even Disney did during its dominating 2019. In fact, the first time a single studio had the top three films at the box office was back in February of 2005 when Sony led the way with Hitch, Boogeyman, and Are We There Yet?. And while Forever Purge is the lowest of the three, it’s not hurting by any stretch. The film added $3.6 million internationally for a $16.3 million worldwide take through Sunday, almost matching its $18 million production budget already. Of course, it has to do more than that to hit profit but that shouldn’t be a problem. The Purge films tend to drop off quickly, but if Forever Purge can match the legs of The First Purge it could hit $50 million domestically with the international markets to come adding plenty of profit.

A Quiet Place Part II slid down to #4 in its sixth weekend but held on to a good portion of its gross, down just 32% with $4.2 million. The horror sequel now stands at $144.4 million domestically and $240.8 million worldwide. Obviously it’s already made Paramount lots of money against its $61 million budget and should have zero problem crossing the $160 million mark domestically by the end of its run, even as it hits Paramount+ on July 12th.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard dropped a solid 38% in its third weekend to take in $3 million. The action-comedy sequel is now up to $31.4 million domestically and $45.9 million worldwide. It doesn’t seem likely to make back its $70 million budget without a boost in international grosses, with a likely $40 million final domestic take.

Cruella continues to hold strong, down just 33% in its sixth weekend to nail down $2.6 million. The Disney live-action film has now grossed $76.6 million in the states and $204.4 million worldwide. It’s in quite good shape against its $100 million budget, particularly when factoring in the revenue for the its Disney+ Premier Access. It should end its run with around $82 million or perhaps a bit more.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway was down a hefty 53% in its fourth weekend as Boss Baby stole all its oxygen. The live action/CGI hybrid grossed $2.3 million to bring its totals to $34.4 million domestically and $126.5 million worldwide. The Sony film is likely in profit at this point against the $45 million budget plus marketing, and will likely end its domestic run at around $40 million.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It was down to #8 in its fourth weekend with $1.3 million, down 57% from last weekend. That brings the horror film to $62.2 million domestically and $173.6 million worldwide. It’s a big profit for Warner Bros, aiming for $66 million domestically or so. The budget was $39 million.

In the Heights slipped 43% in its fourth weekend to $1.3 million. The Warner Bros. musical has now grossed $26.9 million domestically and $35.8 million worldwide. There are plenty of international markets left to go but it has a long way to make back its $55 million budget and should close its US run at around $30 million.

The #10 spot went to A24’s new film Zola. The Janicza Bravo-direction dramatization of a story told in an infamous Twitter thread about a wild road trip between two friends took in $1.2 million over the three-day weekend. Having opened on Tuesday, the film is now up to $2 million which is an okay start for this critically-lauded (87% on RT) but somewhat niche film. The film cost $5 million and depending on how A24 handles the rollout from here, it should be a moderate success.

Next weekend sees the first Marvel film to hit theaters since the pandemic as Black Widow kicks off the film side of the MCU’s Phase Four. The film is also releasing on Disney+ Premier Access for $29.99 so it won’t be doing Black Panther numbers by any stretch, but it could easily top F9’s pandemic record opening of $70 million from last weekend.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. F9: The Fast Saga – $24 million ($117.1 million total)
2. The Boss Baby: Family Business – $17.4 million ($17.4 million total)
3. The Forever Purge – $12.8 million ($12.8 million total)
4. A Quiet Place Part II – $4.2 million ($144.4 million total)
5. The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard – $3 million ($31.4 million total)
6. Cruella – $2.6 million ($76.6 million total)
7. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway – $2.3 million ($34.4 million total)
8. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It – $1.3 million ($62.2 million total)
9. In The Heights – $1.3 million ($26.9 million total)
10. Zola – $1.2 million ($2 million total)