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Fate of the Furious holding strong in theatres


Fate of the Furious holding strong in theatres

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LOS ANGELES – The Fate of the Furious is racing to defend its title at the top of the box office, while a number of new releases including The Promise and Unforgettable are being left in the dust.

Universal’s eighth instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise proved to be a global box office titan when it opened last weekend to a record-shattering $532.5 million.

This time around looks to tell mostly the same story, while domestic grosses slipped 61% from its first to second weekend, the movie is still easily topping the box office with $38.7 million from 4,329 locations.

But slipping domestic earnings (and lower U.S. grosses than Furious 7, which pulled over $250 million in its first two weekends versus Fate’s current sum of $163.6 million) are majorly overshadowed by the movie’s international appeal.

A bankable, diverse cast including Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel and Charlize Theron is leading the film, directed by F. Gary Gray, to a two-frame global total of $744.8 million and worldwide sum of $908.4 million.

While studios wait for summer season to commence, there are no surprise hits to come of this weekend’s releases.

Warner Bros’ Unforgettable seems to have slipped audiences’ minds, earning $4.8 million in its first weekend from 2,417 theatres.

“It just didn’t resonate with the intended audience,” said Jeff Goldstein, the president of domestic distribution at Warner Bros. Goldstein stressed that the movie was made for a moderate price, and the marketing was “targeted and appropriate” for the audience.

The directorial debut of Denise Di Novi stars Katherine Heigl as a scorned ex-wife, and Rosario Dawson as a woman who is newly engaged to the same man. In his review for Variety, critic Peter Debruge lauded Heigl’s “terrific” performance, and wrote that her casting “savvily exploits the actress’ prickly reputation within the industry”.

Unforgettable joins a string of so-so to disappointing releases from Warner Bros so far this year, including Chips and Fist Fight. At least the Heigl movie had a low production budget (about $12 million) to minimise losses.

The Promise, too, couldn’t follow through, despite a social media push from stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, the Kardashian sisters and Cher. The movie, from Open Road Films on behalf of Survival Pictures, looks to round out the weekend with about $4.1 million from 2,251 locations – barely cracking the top ten for the weekend. (Variety/Reuters)