Source: Universal Pictures

‘Furious’ Is Fastest in Weekend Marked by Small Film Debuts

Universal Pictures’ “The Fate of the Furious” led the North American box office for the second weekend, beating five new releases that all opened in fewer than 2,500 locations.

The popular franchise from Comcast Corp.’s movie division collected an estimated $38.4 million in theaters in the U.S. and Canada, ComScore Inc. said in an emailed statement Monday. That beat the $37.5 million forecast from analysts at BoxOfficePro.com. Of the new films, Disney’s “Born in China” opened the highest with sales $4.79 million.

This latest “Furious” film hasn’t generated as much as its predecessor but is still a success. The picture set global records in its debut and at least two more movies are in the works. With no new blockbusters due out until “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” kicks off the summer season on May 5, eight smaller films are opening this weekend and next.

“Born in China,” a Walt Disney Co. documentary about pandas, opened in sixth place. Hollywood Stock Exchange had estimated $5.22 million. It was one of most highly acclaimed new movies, getting 81 percent positive reviews at Rottentomatoes.com.

Warner Bros.’ “Unforgettable” placed seventh in its debut with $4.79 million. Katherine Heigl features as a divorcee who terrorizes her former husband’s new partner. The movie from Time Warner Inc.’s studio was panned by critics, receiving only 30 percent positive reviews at Rottentomatoes.com. The picture cost $12 million to make and was expected to bring in $8.2 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Open Road Films’ released “The Promise” in more than 2,000 locations yet the historic drama about the last days of the Ottoman Empire landed in ninth place with estimated sales of $4.1 million. It was estimated to score $3.4 million, according to Box Office Pro.
“Free Fire,” from A24, didn’t place in the top 10, generating only $994,000. Box Office Pro had estimated $3 million. Sharlto Copley, Brie Larson and Armie Hammer star in a film about two gangs that shoot it out in a Boston warehouse.

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