Box Office Guru Preview: Vin Diesel and Gang Racing for #1 Spot

Also: Adventureland to provide the amusement.

by | April 2, 2009 | Comments

Universal makes a serious play at setting a new April opening weekend box office record with its street racing four-quel Fast & Furious which should lead the marketplace to a scorching spring frame. The only other new film attempting to steal away audiences is the quirky theme park comedy Adventureland which opens in about half as many theaters. With last weekend’s champ Monsters vs. Aliens still doing strong business, the industry could for the first time in history see two films gross over $30M each in the traditionally slow month of April.

Keeping the eight-year-old franchise going, Universal unleashes Fast & Furious on Friday hoping to reclaim old glory by reuniting the four principal cast members of the original surprise blockbuster. Starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster, the PG-13 film is aimed at teens and young adults with a need for speed. Broad appeal across all ethnic groups will help widen the audience as with previous chapters. Given the age of the series, sales from the 30-plus crowd could make the debut bigger allowing it to challenge Anger Management’s record April bow of $42.2M.

Openings for the franchise include $40.1M for 2001’s The Fast and the Furious, $50.5M for 2003’s 2 Fast 2 Furious, and $24M for 2006’s The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift which featured a new cast and setting. At today’s ticket prices, those figures would amount to roughly $52M, $61M, and $27M respectively. Clearly a part of the audience has eroded away over the years and each film featured less and less of the “original parts”. Universal really had no way to get fans back for a fourth lap but to reunite the stars from the first pic.

The new FF is a comeback vehicle for Vin Diesel who has only had two starring roles in the past four years – the back-to-back flops Find Me Guilty and Babylon A.D. Walker, Rodriguez, and Brewster have never been big box office draws anyway so the promise of a big paycheck in a very high-profile film certainly helped to lure each actor. Reaching the opening weekend takes of the first two chapters (adjusted for today’s prices) will probably be out of reach. Part of the appeal back then was that this fresh new concept spoke to a new generation of young people. But the fan base is still huge and the original cast will spark tons of interest.

With a strong marketing campaign, limited competition for its target audience, theaters booking multiple auditoriums, and the buzz surrounding its reunited cast, Fast & Furious should finish in first place with a big sack of cash. Racing into more than 3,400 locations, a Friday-to-Sunday debut of about $43M could occur.


Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in Fast and Furious

Miramax offers a different entertainment option for the non-automotive fan with the quirky theme park comedy Adventureland starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. The R-rated pic is being promoted as being from the director of Superbad in hopes of attracting a crowd of older teens and twentysomethings. Starpower will be one of the main tools here in generating business as Eisenberg is known for his critical indie hit The Squid and the Whale, Stewart will be testing her drawing power after co-headlining the vampire smash Twilight, and supporting actors Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig will attempt to draw in the Saturday Night Live audience.

But the promotional push has not been as strong as those for hits like Superbad, Juno, or Little Miss Sunshine although Adventureland clearly wants to appeal to the same folks. Also Stewart’s pull outside of her lucrative franchise may be limited especially with the restrictive rating. A lot of heavy hitters are currently filling up screens in the multiplexes so competition will be a big factor too. That level of urgency just doesn’t seem to be there so many will wait for the DVD. However, reviews have been among the best of any wide release this year so if ticket buyers decide to listen to critics then the coming-of-age film could enjoy a respectable bow. Going out moderately wide in over 1,800 runs, Adventureland may debut to about $8M.


Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in Adventureland

Monsters vs. Aliens has enjoyed a good week following its potent debut grossing another $3.5M on Monday and $3.4M on Tuesday.on its way to a $70M+ opening week tally. With no new kidpics launching this weekend, the stage is set for another impressive frame. A 40% decline would lead to a weekend take of around $35M putting the ten-day sum at a robust $107M for Paramount and DreamWorks Animation. Lionsgate scored big last weekend too with its spookfest The Haunting in Connecticut. Both of the new releases will steal away teens and young adults so a sizable decline is likely. Look for a 55% fall to about $10M for a cume of $38M after ten days.

The doomsday thriller Knowing has done surprisingly well not only in its launch but with its sophomore hold. With a new actioner opening, Summit could see a 45% drop to roughly $8M raising the total after 17 days to $57M. Paramount’s dude comedy I Love You, Man may match up with about $8M as well which would be a 35% drop. Cume would climb to $49M.

LAST YEAR: The gambling drama 21 spent a second weekend at number one with $15.3M dropping only 36% for a solid hold. Jodie Foster‘s adventure Nim’s Island debuted in the runnerup spot with $13.2M and was followed closely by George Clooney‘s football comedy Leatherheads with $12.7M. Final tallies reached $48M for the Fox family film and $31.4M for Universal’s period pigskin pic. The animated hit Horton Hears a Who ranked fourth with $9.1M and the new horror entry The Ruins opened in fifth with $8M on its way to a $17.4M total.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Tag Cloud

indiana jones Mudbound romance psycho Dark Horse Comics screen actors guild DC Universe SundanceTV TCA 2017 stoner Showtime news zombies Countdown elevated horror doctor who Pixar Music cults NBC universal monsters 2019 FOX disaster Amazon Prime Video Warner Bros. series Vudu superhero Netflix Christmas movies golden globes discovery Heroines franchise 99% nfl obituary adventure Set visit Trivia a nightmare on elm street unscripted Grammys batman See It Skip It Brie Larson Writers Guild of America medical drama Western USA comiccon Acorn TV social media Alien crime thriller talk show The CW Masterpiece Toys Nat Geo HBO Go quibi Trailer Ellie Kemper WarnerMedia Podcast rotten movies we love History 007 Summer Cartoon Network classics TV Land jamie lee curtis emmy awards Emmy Nominations composers Rock Star Wars Marvel Crunchyroll stand-up comedy Year in Review reboot Best and Worst Fall TV sports video child's play game of thrones Disney+ Disney Plus LGBTQ spain streaming dark DC Comics biography YouTube Premium Syfy Paramount Network Spectrum Originals teaser 45 Hallmark Chernobyl police drama Crackle VOD comedies hispanic remakes Apple TV+ dc Song of Ice and Fire Shudder sequel book japanese Hallmark Christmas movies war Anna Paquin singing competition facebook french SXSW National Geographic Sundance boxoffice films serial killer name the review space football Martial Arts Tubi Action Character Guide Emmys Disney Plus Endgame FX on Hulu The Witch screenings deadpool casting YouTube Calendar docudrama Tarantino Lucasfilm theme song Freeform Family Captain marvel NYCC Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt nbcuniversal rotten worst Oscars worst movies hollywood 2015 blaxploitation 2020 Fox News Baby Yoda stop motion CMT Logo 71st Emmy Awards TV renewals BET Awards Universal GLAAD Classic Film Hear Us Out BBC America Ovation Reality Competition DGA Disney streaming service period drama dragons TruTV Pet Sematary TV Rocketman Photos Trophy Talk Mary poppins strong female leads ID witnail Television Critics Association Extras Rocky richard e. Grant vampires Peacock 2016 dceu TCM canceled ghosts Lifetime Christmas movies supernatural TIFF TLC Comedy Central First Reviews Awards ABC TCA Awards italian crime drama scary movies RT21 TBS Academy Awards black james bond ESPN Creative Arts Emmys video on demand Schedule Holiday A24 Video Games all-time latino television President cops VH1 anime concert mission: impossible Musical ITV cinemax OneApp Mindy Kaling Teen halloween tv OWN ratings comics Starz mockumentary Arrowverse BBC One Watching Series thriller spy thriller versus Shondaland Mary Poppins Returns satire USA Network Columbia Pictures Amazon Studios historical drama RT History movie anthology Film Biopics natural history Country Animation TCA Winter 2020 children's TV Tomatazos PlayStation Election FXX foreign YouTube Red joker 20th Century Fox travel Black History Month indie MTV Pride Month spanish language laika criterion GoT sag awards robots comic books binge LGBT San Diego Comic-Con Walt Disney Pictures Sundance TV slashers Star Trek BAFTA Opinion CNN The Walking Dead Avengers AMC Winners Fox Searchlight GIFs Comics on TV fresh Lifetime dramedy E! cartoon 4/20 Rom-Com Pop spanish CW Seed BET Sundance Now APB tv talk nature zombie Infographic Black Mirror Amazon Prime cancelled TV shows true crime Holidays cats toy story Super Bowl Marvel Television IFC Sony Pictures south america award winner The Purge venice festivals Disney Channel political drama spider-man Amazon Adult Swim Cosplay YA 24 frames christmas movies 2018 MSNBC revenge 2017 Hulu aliens TCA Mary Tyler Moore crime canceled TV shows crossover independent Mystery IFC Films breaking bad adaptation Travel Channel Elton John Polls and Games DirecTV Disney Quiz Film Festival Apple Ghostbusters science fiction Fantasy Box Office Reality Valentine's Day Christmas politics best halloween Paramount MCU based on movie A&E 72 Emmy Awards The Arrangement Discovery Channel Tumblr Pop TV cancelled television Comic Book reviews Stephen King Pirates diversity asian-american Superheroes romantic comedy boxing Spring TV Funimation renewed TV shows twilight Britbox Turner psychological thriller game show The Academy green book critics justice league spinoff ABC Family miniseries E3 TNT CBS All Access directors sitcom Netflix Nickelodeon blockbuster Sneak Peek chucky First Look rt archives SDCC PaleyFest cancelled Marathons 21st Century Fox American Society of Cinematographers HBO Certified Fresh cars finale X-Men movies technology mutant Horror documentary Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Kids & Family kids WGN Food Network HBO Max Superheroe zero dark thirty Musicals DC streaming service Nominations Epix New York Comic Con hist Esquire Marvel Studios PBS werewolf Red Carpet Cannes VICE Winter TV australia comic parents Bravo cooking Lionsgate toronto Women's History Month Comedy documentaries cancelled TV series what to watch CBS Thanksgiving die hard fast and furious free movies Sci-Fi Turner Classic Movies Binge Guide Premiere Dates El Rey Television Academy FX animated festival Drama dogs sequels scorecard Apple TV Plus BBC Awards Tour harry potter Spike transformers archives Interview