Despite being one of the less spirited entries in the series, The Fate Of The Furious set the record for its largest international opening by grossing an estimated $532.5 million this weekend, including a massive $100.2 million in the United States and a mind-boggling $190 million in China. Those are big numbers. In fact, they are cartoonishly huge, as befits the scale of a franchise that has abandoned both its drag racing origins and its later caper shenanigans for plots more reminiscent of Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan-era James Bond. (At least the Moore movies had those sweet John Barry scores.)
The Fate Of The Furious’ $100.2 million opening—which accounted for almost two-thirds of the weekend’s reported American box office—dwarfed all comers. The few to survive this decimation were the already successful The Boss Baby (No. 2, $15.5 million) and Beauty And The Beast (No. 3, $13.6 million). Along with Jordan Peele’s Get Out—which rose up a spot this weekend to to No. 7 with $2.9 million, bringing its domestic total up to $167.5 million against a teensy-weensy budget—these represented the few real successes of a season otherwise piled with domestic flops.
Landing at No. 4 with $6.5 million, Smurfs: The Lost Village at least has a fairly sizable international box office to help recoup its reported $60 million production budget. The same might be true of the under-performing Power Rangers (No. 8, $2.8 million), which has made $80 million in the United States against a reported budget of $100 million, but has yet to open in China, and Kong: Skull Island (No. 10, $2.7 million), which has totaled $161.2 million here against a reported budget of $185 million, but has done swimmingly overseas. The rule of thumb with Hollywood movies is that they have to make more than twice their budget to earn a profit, though the reported figures never include the gargantuan sums of money spent on advertising. (For a rough estimate of the advertising budget, rate how sick you are of ads for the film on a scale of 1 to 10 and then multiply that number by $15 million.)
However, Ghost In The Shell, which plummeted to the No. 11 slot with $2.4 million in only its third week of release, is a bona fide flop. To add insult to injury, it was muscled out of the Top 10 by the likes of Going In Style (No. 5, $6.4 million), Gifted (No. 6, $3 million), and The Case For Christ (No. 9, $2.7 million). Tommy’s Honor, which opened at No. 20, earned only $218,920, despite opening in 167 theaters, and the even less enticing Spark: A Space Tail plopped into No. 24, with an estimated $112,352 earned in a whopping 365 theaters, giving it a miserable per theater average of $308.
But all is not lost! Opening in very limited release, James Gray’s The Lost City Of Z—the recipient of our rare and coveted A grade—came in with the weekend’s highest per-theater average, earning $28,158 on each screen. (Both of The A.V. Club’s staff film critics agree that’s a great movie, even if they can’t agree on how great of a movie it is.) Also successful on the indie front was Norman, which made an average of $20,733 on five screens. Both films will be expanding to more theaters over the coming weeks.