Box Office: HOBBS AND SHAW’s $60.8 million opening is 13-year low for franchise but not terrible?

Welcome to the Beat’s Weekend Box Office Recap!

Universal had the benefit of zero direct competition when opening its action-comedy spin-off Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw into 4,253 theaters on the first weekend of August. There were quite a few precursors that proved one could have a massive hit on this weekend from the $94 million opening of James Gunn’Guardians of the Galaxy  in 2014 to Suicide Squad‘s $133 million opening two years later.

With Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprising their popular “Fast and Furious” characters, the action movie directed by Deadpool 2‘s David Leitch was able to match the $5.8 million previews for Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood a week earlier, though it held better on Friday with $23.7 million.

Hobbs and Shaw‘s estimated $60.8 million opening isn’t bad — although substantially below my own prediction — but it’s also the worst showing for the franchise since 2003’s Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, which at one point was considered the death of the franchise before Vin Diesel and Paul Walker returned for 2009’s Fast and Furious. Co-starring Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby, the “Fast and Furious” spin-off was still among the top 10 openers for August but it didn’t even fare as well as Universal’s The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007. it actually isn’t that bad when you realize that spin-off movies rarely do as well as the franchise from which they’re spun off, and it’s a better showing than Men in Black: International from earlier in the summer.

Hobbs and Shaw received an “A-” CinemaScore, which is the lowest rating from audiences since the 2009 revival, but it’s still better than “B+” that the franchise originator The Fast and the Furious received in 2001. Reviews weren’t so bad either.

Overseas, Hobbs and Shaw grossed another $120 million this weekend, and that $180 million global opening could inspire Universal to continue the Johnson/Statham spin-off as its own separate franchise. Right now, a ninth “Fast and Furious” movie starring Diesel is scheduled for 2020 with a tenth and final installment on the 2021 schedule, so we’ll have to see how the original franchise fares without Johnson and Statham’s characters.

Disney added two more $400 million blockbusters to its roster this week as both The Lion King and Toy Story 4 crossed that milestone domestically, probably the only time in history where a single studio had four $400 million plus movies in a single year. Between those two movies and Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel, that’s more than $2 billion made between four movies alone, and that doesn’t even include Aladdin, which remained in the top 10 for its 11th consecutive week.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

The Lion King dropped to second place in its third weekend with $38.2 million, down 50%, as its domestic gross hit $430.9 million, making it the second biggest movie of the year in less than twenty years. Not that the Jon Favreau-directed adaptation of the 1994 animated blockbuster wasn’t expected to be a hit, but it has also surpassed the total domestic gross of the original movie now. The Lion King added another $72 million overseas this weekend to bring its global total to just under $1.2 billion.

Despite its impressive $41 million opening last week, Quentin Tarantino‘s held well in its second weekend, a moderately decent 51% drop to third place with $20 million. It has grossed $78.8 million in just ten days and should be well on its way to $100 million and more before summer’s end.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Far from Home (co-produced by Marvel Studios, so also partially owned by Disney) and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 continued to jockey for position this weekend, as the Spider-Man sequel remained ahead by the slightest amount. Far from Home took fourth place with $7.7 million this weekend, bringing its own domestic total to $360.3 million, the third best showing for the frequently-relaunched franchise.

Pixar Animation’s Toy Story 4 was #5 this weekend with $7.1 million (down 32%) from last week as it falls just behind The Lion King with $410 million domestically. That also puts it just $5 million behind the domestic total for 2010’s Toy Story 3, even though few thought what seemed like an unnecessary sequel would surpass its predecessor. Turns out that the originality of the fourth movie won the fans over making it a strong player in the later summer despite all the “sequelitis” earlier in the summer. Hopefully, Disney won’t use this as an excuse to make a Toy Story 5 rather than ending the series on yet another high note.

Universal’s Beatles rom-com Yesterday also continued to do well, remaining in sixth place with $2.4 million, staying just ahead of Lulu Wang‘s family drama The Farewell, which A24 expanded into roughly 400 theaters on Friday. Yesterday has grossed $67.9 million, a strong showing for one of the summer’s few successful original films.

Paramount’s gator thriller Crawl was #8 with $2.1 million, having grossed $36 million so far, which is respectable for a fairly low-budget horror film.

Disney’s Aladdin looks to have its very last weekend in the top 10 after remaining there for 11 consecutive weeks with an impressive $350 million gross, despite being considered one of the summer’s weaker offerings back in April.  Just goes to show that you should never underestimate Disney or Will Smith.

As far as limited releases, NEON’s drama Luce performed well in five theaters in New York and L.A., grossing $132,916 ($26,583 per theater) as it showcased the amazing performances by Kelvin Harrison Jr., previous Oscar winner Octavia Spencer and previous nominee Naomi Watts.

Jennifer Kent‘s period revenge thriller The Nightingale (IFC Films) fared slightly worse in just two theaters in the New York area, averaging $20,000 in each for an opening of $40,000.

This Week’s Top 10: 

Rank Last Week Rank Movie Studio Weekend Gross % Change Total Gross
1 New Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw Universal $60.8 million N/A $60.8 million
2 1 The Lion King Disney $38.3 million N/A $430.9 million
3 2 Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood Sony $20 million -42% $78.8 million
4 3 Spider-Man: Far from Home Sony $7.8 million -38% $360.4 million
5 4 Toy Story 4 Disney $7.2 million -32% $410 million
6 6 Yesterday Universal $2.4 million -21% $67.9 million
7 10 The Farewell A24 $2.4  million +60% $6.8 million
8 5 Crawl Paramount $2.2 million -47% $36.1 million
9 7 Aladdin Disney $2 million -34% $350.4 million
10 9 Annabelle: Comes Home New Line/WB $875,000  -43% $71.6 million


Last August, Tom Cruise‘s action hit Mission: Impossible – Fallout remained #1 for a second weekend with $35.3 million, leaving Disney’s Christopher Robin opening in second place with $24.6 million and the Lionsgate action-comedy in third with $12.1 million. Because of that, this weekend’s top 10 was up almost $25 million over the same weekend last year, so this summer has definitely picked up steam despite the post-Endgame ennui.

Check back Wednesday for The Beat‘s weekly Box Office Preview where I look at the box office prospects of five new wide releases, including Paramount’s Dora and the Lost City of Gold.


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