Furious 7 Sets a New April Record Over Easter Weekend

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Universal Pictures’ anticipated sequel Furious 7, starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Kurt Russell and Ludacris, opened on Good Friday in over 4,000 theaters and after setting an April opening day record with $67.3 million ($15.8 million of that coming from Thursday previews), it fell a bit on Saturday to end up with an estimated $143.6 million over the weekend.

That number would make it the top opening movie for April, beating Captain America: the Winter Soldier by almost $50 million, as well as the top Easter opening, a record previously held by Warner Bros.’ Clash of the Titans with its $61.2 million opening. It also bested the previous opening for a movie in the “Fast and Furious” franchise by grossing $50 million more its opening weekend than Fast and Furious 6 over its first three days of Memorial Day weekend 2013.

Furious 7 opened on 365 IMAX screens domestically which accounted for $14 million of its domestic opening, or $38,000+ per screen, besting the previous April IMAX record set by “The Winter Soldier” with its $9 million IMAX opening. It’s also the second-best IMAX opening ever after The Dark Knight Rises in July 2012.

Overseas, Furious 7 grossed another $240.4 million in 63 territories, making it Universal’s highest-grossing weekend internationally ahead of Fast and Furious 6‘s $162 million, with $8 million of its overseas business grossed in 175 IMAX theaters, also beating the previous April IMAX record set by “The Winter Soldier.” Furious 7 is also the third-highest grossing international opening weekend behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and its $384 million global opening is setting it up to become the first billion dollar movie of the year. It was #1 in every country where it opened with some of the biggest numbers coming from Mexico ($20.8 million), UK/Ireland ($19 million), Germany ($15.2 million), France, Australia and Brazil.

DreamWorks Animation’s latest animated hit Home (20th Century Fox), featuring the voices of Jim Parsons and Rihanna, dropped to second place with  $27.4 million, down 47% from its impressive opening weekend with $95.6 million grossed in North America to date with little family competition in April.

The Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart R-rated comedy Get Hard (Warner Bros) got hit hard by the arrival of Furious 7, dropping 62% in its second weekend to third place with $12.9 million with a total domestic gross of $57 million.

The battle of the women-friendly flicks was won by a small margin this weekend by Walt Disney Pictures’ Cinderella, which surpassed Summit Entertainment’s Veronica Roth adaptation The Divergent Series: Insurgent in their third weekend together, as Cinderella added another $10.3 million to its domestic take of $167.3 million. Overseas, it took in another $24.3 million, which brings its total global gross to $397.2 million. The Divergent Series: Insurgent settled for fifth place with an even $10 million as its own domestic gross reached $103.4 million. It has grossed $223.6 million worldwide to date.

David Robert MItchell’s horror film It Follows (RADiUS-TWC) added an additional 437 theaters on Friday, allowing it to gross $2.5 million over Easter weekend, down just 35% from its entry into the Top 10 last weekend. It has grossed $8.5 million so far, making it RADiUS’ highest-grossing release to date.

Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds starred in the drama Woman in Gold (The Weinstein Company), which opened in just 265 theaters on Wednesday, where it scored $2 million its opening weekend, roughly $7,500 per theater, which was enough to take seventh place. The Weinstein Company will be expanding the movie further over the rest of the month.

The Colin Firth-Samuel L. Jackson spy comedy Kingsman: The Secret Service (20th Century Fox) and the religious drama Do You Believe? (Pure Flix Entertainment) followed with less than $2 million each. Matthew Vaughn’s movie has grossed $122 million domestically with this weekend being its 8th weekend in the Top 10.

On its own, Furious 7 grossed 93% of what the Top 10 grossed in the same weekend last year when Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened and set a now defunct April box office record.

As far as limited releases, Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young (A24), starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, expanded into 34 theaters in select cities where it added another $500,000 over the weekend to bring its total to $791,450 before its nationwide expansion on Friday.

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