Fast Five Drives into the Record Books

The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

After four months where no one movie grossed more than $40 million in a single weekend, the fifth installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, Fast Five (Universal), reuniting Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson and Chris Bridges with director Justin Lin, nearly doubled that amount in its opening weekend. After grossing an estimated $34.5 million on Friday, it ended up with roughly $83.6 million for its opening weekend, doing nearly 18% better its opening weekend than the last installment, 2009′s Fast and Furious.

Besides sporting the largest opening weekend for 2011 and setting a new April opening record, Fast Five also claims the honor of being Universal Pictures’ biggest opening ever. It also did well in its 243 domestic IMAX theaters, averaging $3,400 per site to make up $8.3 million of that impressive opening weekend. Outside of North America, Fast Five brought in additional $45.3 million in 14 markets bringing its worldwide total gross to $165 million in less than two weeks. It will open in 45 more territories next weekend and then in China and Israel on May 12, but it’s already setting itself up to be one of the year’s biggest hits.

Meanwhile, Paramount opened Marvel Studios’ Thor in 56 markets worldwide before its North American release on Friday where it took in an estimated $83 million, the best showing for a new movie opening overseas. Adding in the gross from the film’s opening in Australia one week earlier, it has made $93 million worldwide in just ten days.

Besides setting all sorts of crazy records and reinvigorating the box office, Fast Five also knocked the other Rio-based box office hit, 20th Century Fox’s Rio, down to 2nd place with $14.4 million and $103.6 million to date domestically.

Last week’s #2 movie, Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family (Lionsgate), dropped to third place with $10 million, down nearly 60% from its opening week, with a total of $41.1 million in ten days.

The romantic drama Water for Elephants (20th Century Fox), starring Reese Witherspoon and Rob Pattinson, took in $9.1 million in its second weekend for fourth place. It has grossed $32.2 million to date.

Opening meekly in fifth place with just $5 million, the teen comedy Prom (Walt Disney Pictures) still did better than the animated sequel Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (Weinstein Co.), which took sixth place with $4.1 million. Neither of them averaged more than $2,000 per site over the weekend.

Seventh place was retained by FilmDistrict’s drama Soul Surfer with $3.3 million, followed by their horror flick Insidious with $2.7 million. The former has grossed $33.7 million compared to the latter’s $48.3 million.

The estimated $137.4 million grossed by the Top 10 was up nearly 56% from the same weekend last year which saw the release of New Line’s remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street starring Jackie Earle Haley and opening with $33 million.

Opening outside the Top 10 at #16, Kevin Munroe’s comic-based action-thriller Dylan Dog: Dead of Night (Freestyle Releasing), starring Brandon Routh, tanked with just $885,000 in 875 theaters, averaging roughly $1,000 per site.

In limited release, Werner Herzog’s 3D doc Cave of Forgotten Dreams (IFC Films) had a strong first weekend showing, grossing $127,000 in five theaters.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.

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