The Fate of the Furious zoomed to a record-breaking opening weekend at the worldwide box office, but in the U.S. it’s about to take a sharp downturn. The eighth installment in the massively successful Fast and Furious franchise beat out Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ in its first weekend in theaters to have the biggest opening of all-time.
With a lack of even remotely serious competition in its second weekend, The Fate of the Furious was an easy pick to rule the box office once again. Its closest competition remains movies that have already been released, such as DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The movie is indeed the heavy favorite to top the box office in its second weekend, although its domestic total is still projected to experience a significant drop-off.
As reported by Variety, The Fate of the Furious grossed $11.2 million domestically on Friday and is projected to lead the U.S. box office with about $35 million for the weekend. Certainly impressive, that number is a drop of over 60 percent from the approximate $100.2 million that the movie earned in its opening weekend. The Boss Baby, Beauty and the Beast, Going in Style, and Gifted, four movies that have already premiered, are projected to round out the top-five while newcomers like Unforgettable and Born in China (both projected for $4-5 million) are on track to fall significantly short.
Even with Fate‘s sharp decline in the U.S., Variety also reported that the movie is still doing big numbers in China. It passed the $300 million milestone in China alone on Saturday and will soon to zip past 2015’s Furious 7, which at current exchange rates is at a total of about $351 million. Thanks to this international boost, Universal expects The Fate of the Furious to pass $900 million worldwide by the end of the weekend.
Despite the movie’s downturn in the domestic box office (which is still not as bad as Batman v Superman‘s 81% Friday-to-Friday loss last year), The Fate of the Furious is still dominating the competition, especially among new releases; $35 million is still a strong return for a single weekend. There are already at least two more Fast & The Furious movies planned, as well as a spin-off for Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, so the franchise is certainly alive and well.
Still, Universal may ultimately come away from the movie’s performance at the U.S. box office in particular somewhat underwhelmed. The studio was ostensibly hoping for the movie to outperform the $350 million-plus that Furious 7 made in the U.S., which appears to be something of a challenge at this point. Of course, in the increasingly international film market, that’s not a major issue and its gigantic international box office numbers will ensure faithful American fans that the franchise isn’t going anywhere.