The third weekend of April saw the release of a number of new movies, some of them more high profile than others and getting more theaters accordingly, but none of them offered much competition to Universal Pictures’ Furious 7, which remained #1 for its third weekend with an estimated $29 million. That’s down 51% from last week as it gets closer to crossing the $300 million mark with $294.4 million after three weekends. It’s been doing even bigger business overseas as it crossed the billion dollar mark worldwide on Friday in 17 days, which is a new record. Its $1.15 billion grossed worldwide so far makes it the seventh-highest grossing film and Universal Pictures’ highest-grossing movie ever. Much of the film’s success has to be attributed to China, where it has grossed $250 million in just eight days, where it’s behind Transformers: Age of Extinction as the country’s highest grosser ever… but not for long.
The strongest new entry in North America was Kevin James’ comedy sequel Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which opened in second place with an estimated $24 million in 3,633 theaters, or $6,606 per theater. This was despite an abnormally bad 0% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes in comparison with its far better “A-” CinemaScore from moviegoers, which should allow it to hold well at least until the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron in two weeks. It’s also lower than the opening for the original Paul Blart: Mall Cop, which opened with $30 million over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend in 2009.
Blumhouse Pictures’ latest low-budget horror movie Unfriended, produced by Timur Bekmambetov, was released by Universal Pictures into 2,739 theaters on Friday where it grossed an estimated $16 million, or $5,842 per theater to open in third place. That’s better than the most recent Blumhouse release The Lazarus Effect, although it failed to have the massive opening some were expected from the film’s presence on social media. Still, considering that the movie only cost $1 million to produce, it’s already profitable after one weekend and that’s not even considering its international release or eventual release on home video and cable. Its “C” CinemaScore is not a good sign that audiences liked it enough to tell their friends to go see it so expect a big drop next weekend even with no competition.
DreamWorks Animation’s latest animated family hit Home (20th Century Fox) continued to do decently in its fourth weekend with another $10.3 million (down 44% to fourth place) as it added to its domestic take of $142.6 million.
The Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Longest Ride, starring Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson, Jack Huston and Alan Alda, took in $6.9 million in its second weekend, down 47% from its opening weekend to take fifth place with $23.5 million total.
The Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard (Warner Bros.) dropped to sixth place with $4.8 million, down 42% from last weekend, with a four-week domestic take of $78.3 million.
Disneynature’s sixth feature film release Monkey Kingdom opened in 2,012 locations on Friday. Unaided by the Earth Day holiday that usually gives these movies a boost, the film only brought in $4.7 million, on par with the opening for last year’s Bears, which went on to gross $17.8 million.
The Helen Mirren-Ryan Reynolds drama Woman in Gold (The Weinstein Company) continues to fare well as it expanded into 2,011 theaters on Friday to add another $4.6 million to its box office total of $16 million.
Summit Entertainment’s Veronica Roth adaptation The Divergent Series: Insurgent continues to hold up better later in its release with a fifth weekend take of $4.1 million to take ninth place with a domestic total of $120 million. It did a similar amount overseas this weekend to make its global box office total $262.2 million.
Walt Disney Pictures’ Cinderella rounded out the Top 10 with $3.9 million as it brought its domestic total to $186.3 million, while internationally, it added another $7.5 million to bring its worldwide total to $457.7 million.
The Top 10 movies of the weekend brought in an estimated $108 million, which is down slightly from this weekend last year when Captain America: The Winter Soldier was #1 for a third weekend in a row with $25.6 million, followed by the religious drama Heaven is for Real with $22.5 million.
The James Franco-Jonah Hill drama True Story was released by Fox Searchlight into 831 theaters nationwide where it took in an estimated $1.9 million, a fairly weak per-theater average of $2,323, keeping it outside the Top 10.
Trying to entice some of the older audience with Summit Entertainment’s Soviet thriller Child 44, starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace, Lionsgate released the movie into 510 theaters with very little fanfare (or promotion), where it bombed with just $600,000 or less than $1,200 per theater.
After a solid platform release, Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller Ex Machina (A24), starring Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander, expanded into 39 theaters where it took in $814,300, or $21,000 per location. On Friday, the film expands nationwide into an unknown number of theaters where it will try to take on a couple weaker new offerings.