1. Furious 7 – $147 million [debut week] Critic and fan adoration, a lack of big budget blockbusters, continued excitement around the brand and overall curiosity about how the film would handle star Paul Walker’s death resulted in a series best and record-obliterating April opening for the seventh installment of the franchise in earning the ninth highest opening all time. Globally, it’s brought in $384 million, the fourth best all time trailing only ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – part 1’ ($483.2 million), ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ ($394.4 million) and ‘The Avengers‘ ($392.5 million). Franchises aren’t supposed to perform like this and typically they don’t. ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – part 1’ couldn’t keep up the franchise’s trend of the last four movies earning more than its predecessor. ‘The Twilight Saga’ couldn’t do it either. Ditto for ‘Star Trek.’ Not even Marvel Studios can make such a boast.
The only other franchise that’s seen each film perform better than its predecessor is James Bond and then hardly to this extent.
For perspective, by Friday, Furious 7 had already grossed more than The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift ($62.5 million total) in its first day. Fast & Furious 6 set the new franchise pace with a stellar $97.3 million opening weekend in 2013, but that mark got left in the dust by Furious 7.
With studios opting not to bother lining up challengers, ‘Furious 7’ should coast to a month-long stint atop box office charts without getting knocked off until Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1. There’s going to be a slew of other blockbusters, but Furious 7 is in prime position to be as high as 2015’s third highest grossing film behind Age of Ultron and Star Wars: Episode 7 – The Force Awakens.
2. Home – $27.4 million [2nd week; $95.6 million] The animated feature benefited from ‘Furious 7’s’ older appeal as families could drop their children off while watching Diesel and company. It should also benefit from a lack of family competition for most of April.
3. Get Hard – $12.9 million [2nd week; $57 million in total] Of all the films in the Top 5, this was the most impacted by the Furious 7 as its target audience raced away to catch the the new king of the road. And it might not come close to making $147 million throughout its run.
4. Cinderella – $10.3 million [4th week; $167.3 million] Disney’s fairy tale princess film may narrowly miss out on reaching $200 million stateside, but globally the movie is approaching $400 million.
5. The Divergent Series: Insurgent – $10 million – [3rd week; $103.4 million] – Closing in on a month in theaters, the Divergent sequel looks like it will struggle to catch the $150 domestic haul of its predecessor.