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411 Box Office Report: Fast X Claims Top Spot With $67.5 Million, Big International Start

May 21, 2023 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
FAST X Image Credit: Peter Mountain/Universal Pictures

Fast X raced its way to the top of the box office this weekend with a solid domestic start and great international opening. The penultimate film in the main Fast franchise opened to $67.5 million domestically, slightly ahead of the $65 million expectations going into the weekend. It’s a decent start for a franchise that is this long in the tooth and is bolstered by a strong $251.4 million international start for $318.9 million worldwide.

While the domestic opening is slightly below the $70 million start of F9: The Fast Saga in June of 2021, the worldwide opening is the third best in the franchise’s history behind only The Fate of the Furious’ $532 million start and Furious 7’s $384 million opening. A big reason for that is the film’s strong start in China, a country that US blockbusters have had difficulty scoring in post-pandemic. The film took in $78.3 million in the country.

Fast X came into the weekend with a lot of stakes. The movie is incredibly costly with a reported $300 million production budget, meaning that it had to open strong in order to have a chance at profit. It accomplished what it needed to thus far despite middling reviews with a 54% aggregated Rotten Tomatoes critics average. That’s the lowest for the series since 2009’s Fast & Furious got a 29% average, though it’s not far off F9’s 59% score.

The better news for Fast X is that it’s scoring well with moviegoers. The film has a B+ CinemaScore, the same as F9. And the RT audience score is an 87% thus far, the best for the main franchise. (Spinoff Hobbs & Shaw was slightly higher at an 88%). The Fast franchise plays like a traditionally frontloaded blockbuster, and if Fast X follows those trends it should be able to make it to around $160 million to $170 million domestically. And again, it’s all about the worldwide gross which will make this a hit even with that budget. It won’t reach the billion dollar mark like Fast and Furious 7 did, but it has every chance to make it to #3 in the franchise worldwide (currently held by Fast & Furious 6 with $789.3 million).

Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 3 continued to hold well, down 48% from its sophomore weekend with $32 million. The MCU film is now up to $266.5 million domestically and $659.1 million worldwide, great numbers even against a $250 million budget. The film is currently outpacing Thor: Love & Thunder and seems likely to pass that film’s $343.3 million domestically. It will be a hit for Marvel Studios without breaking a sweat.

The Super Mario Bros Movie was down just 22% to $9.8 million in its seventh weekend. That’s a strong performance when you consider the film released on digital this past week. The Nintendo animated flick is now up to $549.3 million domestically and $1.238 billion worldwide thus far, a behemoth against a $100 million budget. It is still on target for around $570 million domestically and perhaps more.

Book Club: The Next Chapter took a hit after being buoyed last weekend with Mother’s Day, dropping 55% to $3 million. The sequel was already off to a slow start, so this isn’t good news for the picture. The Next Chapter’s drop was much worse than the original, which slipped just 26% in its second weekend. It is more on par with February’s 80 for Brady which fell 55% in its second frame.

The Next Chapter is now at a lackluster $13.1 million domestically and $16.7 million worldwide. It is unlikely to be a hit against its $20 million budget plus marketing, and should close out in the domestic range of $18 million to $20 million.

Evil Dead Rise was down just 36% in its fifth weekend despite being released on Digital. The horror sequel grossed $2.4 million to bring its totals to $64.1 million domestically and $141.1 million worldwide. This one is a big money maker for New Line and Warner Bros. against a budget of just $18 million. $70 million remains its domestic endgame.

John Wick: Chapter 4 was down 36% in its ninth weekend with $1.3 million. The action sequel is continues to eke out a bit of money as it reaches the end of its theatrical run with $185.3 million domestically and $427.1 million against its $100 million budget. It is still on course for around $188 million to $190 million domestically.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. was down 47% in its fourth weekend to $1.3 million. The coming-of-age film is now at $18.7 million domestically and still hasn’t opened overseas, but isn’t likely for profit against its $30 million production budget. It should finish off stateside at around $22 million.

Robert Rodriguez’s Hypnotic followed up its weak opening with a hefty drop, down 66% to just $825,000. The action thriller is a major bomb, with just $4.1 million domestically and $4.3 million worldwide against a $65 million budget. It still has a lot of overseas markets to open in, but unless it performs incredibly strong in those markets this is a big money loser and domestically won’t top $8 million.

Rising up into the top 10 after a quiet opening last weekend is Blackberry. The comedy about the creation of the titular mobile device slipped 29% in its second weekend but was able to get into the top 10 because of other films falling further. The IFC Films release had a very muted marketing campaign and largely flew under the radar, but has built up some buzz around it thanks to a 98% RT aggregated rating and a strong 92% audience score.

Blackberry was never looking to make its money in theaters; like many IFC Films releases, it finds its profit in the PVOD & SVOD markets. This one shouldn’t have too much difficulty with that based on a $5 million budget, especially since it’s coming to digital in just over a week. The domestic total is at $1.2 million, and it should finish out around $4 million or so.

The bottom fell out of Sony’s Love Again, which dropped 72% in its third weekend to $400,000 to close out the top 10. The romcom is now up at $5.6 million domestically and $10.4 million worldwide against a $9 million budget before marketing. It is on track for around $7 million to 8 million domestically, and will need more overseas numbers to get to any profit.

Fast X’s reign atop the box office should be short lived, as next week sees the release of The Little Mermaid. The live-action remake of the animated classic is looking at around $100 million in its opening weekend. Meanwhile, Gerard Butler’s latest action-thriller Kandahar should start in the mid-single digits and Lionsgate’s comedy About My Father is looking at the low single digits.

BOX OFFICE TOP TEN (Three-Day Domestic Numbers)
1. Fast X – $67.5 million ($67.5 million total, $318.9 million WW)
2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – $32 million ($266.5 million total, $659.1 million WW)
3. The Super Mario Bros. Movie – $9.8 million ($549.3 million total, $1.238 billion WW)
4. Book Club: The Next Chapter – $3 million ($13.1 million total, $16.7 million WW)
5. Evil Dead Rise – $2.4 million ($64.1 million total, $141.1 million WW)
6. John Wick: Chapter 4 – $1.3 million ($185.3 million total, $427.1 million WW)
7. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. – $1.3 million ($18.7 million total, $18.7 million WW)
8. Hypnotic – $825,000 ($4.1 million total, $4.3 million WW)
9. Blackberry – $525,0000 ($1.2 million total, $1.2 million WW)
10. Love Again – $400,000 ($5.9 million total, $10.4 million WW)

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Box Office, Fast X, Jeremy Thomas