‘F9’ Drops 73% But Tops $100M Domestic And Nears $500M Global

F9 was the top movie at the domestic box office yesterday, grossing $8.15 million on its second Friday. That’s a harsh (but not unprecedented) 73% drop from its $30 million opening day (counting $7.1 million in Thursday previews), even if it still pushes the film past the $100 million mark in domestic earnings. Comparatively speaking, that’s a better Friday-to-Friday hold than Fate of the Furious (-76% in 2017 from a $46 million opening day) and about on par with the over/under 72% drops of Hobbs & Shaw, Furious 7, Fast & Furious 6 and Fast Five. Heck, even 2 Fast 2 Furious, Tokyo Drift and Fast & Furious took harsh (especially in their day) over/under 66% Friday drops in 2003, 2006 and 2009. Point being, this is never been a terribly leggy franchise, especially in terms of second-weekend holds.

Yes, the strong weekdays grosses and the lack of “big” competition over the holiday weekend led to hopes that it might be a little leggier, but that’s obviously not happening (yet). We’re almost a year out from studios trying to open movies amid a pandemic, and the notion of “smaller openings but longer legs” has almost never applied, at least not on weekend two. Wonder Woman 1984 dropped 67% in weekend two but then legged out to 2.8x its $16.4 million launch. A Quiet Place part II dropped 59% after a boffo $57 million Fri-Mon Memorial Day debut but then stuck around like a champ. Likewise, if F9 can hold off Black Widow next weekend, then it could see comparatively decent post-second-weekend legs as one of the only biggies around this summer.  

We’re probably looking at a $24 million (-66%) Fri-Sun weekend and around $33 million for the Fri-Mon holiday, giving it $126 million by the end of day 11. Fate of the Furious had $166 million (out of $226 million total) by day 11, while Hobbs & Shaw had $111 million (out of $173 million total). Now those films didn’t have day 11 falling on a big holiday, but it still looks like the film could still end up just over/under Hobbs & Shaw’s domestic cume. Or, if it continues to leg out like Hobbs & Shaw but with comparatively bigger grosses, it could flirt with passing the inflation-adjusted $193 million cume ($127 million in 2003) of 2 Fast 2 Furious. That would thus avoid it being the lowest “tickets-sold” earner of the series outside of the spin-offs.

You can argue that one reason that F9 took a dip on Friday is because the two big releases, which are also Universal offerings, slightly overperformed their (relative) expectations. I’ll go into this in a separate “new release” post, but The Boss Baby: Family Business will top $26 million for the holiday while The Forever Purge will get to around $17 million by Monday. Yes, for the first time in forever (February 2005), a single studio will own the top three spots at the domestic box office. Sony did it with the opening weekend of Will Smith’s Hitch ($44 million, still the top debut for a straight-up romantic comedy) and holdover business from Boogieman and Ice Cube’s Are We There Yet? Say what you will about them, but they were all star-driven or concept-driven originals.

As for F9, it has earned over $360 million overseas for a current $461 million global cume. So it should be over $500 million worldwide by today or very early tomorrow. Once that happens, it’ll zoom past Japan’s Demon Slayer The Movie to be the biggest-grossing non-Chinese movie of 2020 and 2021. I’m pretty sure the $825 million cume of Hi, Mom is out of reach, but ask me next week about the $685 million cume of Detective Chinatown 3. The ninth Fast & Furious movie is not going to be, as I theorized way back in 2017 (as Fate of the Furious zoomed to $1.236 billion with just $226 million domestic), the first movie to top $1 billion worldwide without passing $200 million domestic, but it’s still likely to top the summer in raw global grosses.   

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