Film Discussion

US Box Office Report: 19/05/23 – 21/05/23

Fast flags at home, hits the NOS overseas, and Other Box Office News.

Crack open a cold Corona, invite your family to the cookout, and prepare to live your life a quarter-mile at a time because Fast & Furious is back, baby!  Twenty-two years after it all kick-started with a Point Break riff of street racers stealing VHS players, one of the last true mega-franchises we have left with no connection to comics continues to command both attention and its studio’s desperate pleas to not turn off the money-faucet just yet please they don’t have a lot left over there think of the poor executives who can only afford four yachts this Summer instead of five.

The last one of these, F9, saw a somewhat-hobbled opening and subsequent precipitous fall compared to its mainline predecessors, but that was to be expected given its opening at the tail-end of everyone’s willingness to acknowledge the pandemic as being a thing.  But we’re two years on from that!  Tom Cruise saved cinema!  Surely there’s no reason to suspect that Fast X – God bless the commitment to ridiculous sequel naming – won’t return to the usual $80/$90 million domestic heights it was cresting back in the Before Times!

READ MORE: Fast X – Film Review

Err… maybe so, as it turns out.  At least domestically, there’s reason to believe that America’s appetite for seeing Vin Diesel ramp his sweet Dodge Charger off an increasingly ludicrous series of objects is waning, the goddamn philistines.  Whilst Dominic Toretto would attest that “it don’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile, winning’s winning”.

I’d argue that having the weakest domestic opening of any (non-Covid) mainline entry in the franchise since Fast & Furious in 2009 doesn’t signify the kind of unfuckwithable level of dominance befitting a movie with an alleged $340 million price tag.  Of course, Fast X’s $67.5 million is still over double the take of the weekend’s second-place film (Guardians vol. 3 with $31.9 million) and more than the entire rest of the chart combined, so it’s not an outright bomb by any stretch of the term.  But I can’t sit here and not say that everyone involved was relying on better numbers than that…

READ MORE: Beau is Afraid – Film Review

So, it’s a good thing that the Fast franchise remains one of America’s most beloved overseas exports.  Yes, if the American audiences are growing disillusioned with the unofficial car-centric Dungeons & Dragons franchise, the same cannot be said for the rest of the world!  That homegrown $67.5 million got supplemented by an international take of $251.4 million, the second-best of the franchise behind The Fate of the Furious, and the best of 2023 so far.  (Mario wins out on the worldwide front due to its gargantuan near-$200 mil domestic and a slightly slower international rollout, compared to Fast X’s total Day 1 saturation.)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two biggest markets were China – which has always adored this series and outperformed the US opening with $78.3 million, already the sixth-biggest Hollywood film in the country since 2019 – and Mexico with $16.7 million.  Combined, that’s very nearly all $340 million made back in just three days of business.  Now, so long as there isn’t some kind of deep-sea Mouse-shaped leviathan coming along in the next few days to wreck everyone’s shit, I’d say the Fast family are gonna be juuuuuust fine…

I don’t got friends.  I got Full List.

US Box Office Results: Friday 19th May 2023 – Sunday 21st May 2023

1] Fast X

$67,500,000 / NEW

Anyways, with the financial stuff out the way, I can now say that I had tremendous fun with this.  Not as much fun as Jason Momoa clearly had, but a lot.  Totally get why this may be a step too far even for NOS-heads like Dave Bond, but it still works like gangbusters for me and I will be sad when the series eventually runs out of road.

2] Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 3

$31,980,000 / $266,522,579

It’s honestly kind of amazing that it took 15 years for Marvel’s shared-universe continuity plans, based around the trust that every actor brought into their orbit will both play nice with management and remain on the up-and-up as people in general, to blow up in their faces with this level of severity.  Feige really did shake hands with Mephisto for that first decade; I imagine the meeting when he came to collect went like this.

3] The Super Mario Bros. Movie

$9,800,000 / $549,290,720

1) Please let the Nimona movie be good.  2) Please let it still be super-queer.  3) Please have Netflix actually fucking promote the thing properly instead of just dumping it to die in between their nine-hundred other neglected animation efforts.

4] Book Club: The Next Chapter

$3,000,000 / $13,125,220

For this week’s STT Book Club entry, feel free to join Amy Walker in braving the icy tundra and overly-busy plotting of John Bruno’s new graphic novel Navigator.

5] Evil Dead Rise

$2,375,000 / $64,105,752

Never gonna watch it both cos jump scare factories are my absolute kryptonite (along with many other kryptonites you don’t need to know about) and cos Scott Cawthon is a garbage person, but I will say that the Jim Henson Creature Shop did fantastic work on the animatronics for the Five Nights at Freddy’s movie.  Kinda wanna hope the movie does well purely cos those guys deserve an actual win for once.

6] John Wick: Chapter 4

$1,332,000 / $185,313,565

Fancy something more than a little shlocky to pass 90 minutes inoffensively enough?  Amy Walker has covered the post-apocalypse Chinese smash-hit Restart the Earth with its UK release this week.

7] Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

$1,326,000 / $18,696,250

Even though it’s out in the UK at last, I am still yet to get to Margaret.  I’m sorry!  It’s been one of those weeks, particularly with “work”!  Make no mistake, I’ll have finally seen it by the time we next meet!  Whether it’ll still be around by then, however, is sadly anyone’s guess.

8] Hypnotic

$825,000 / $4,061,216

Here’s some fresh content for you!  Rob Jones has put together a little career retrospective of trauma-maker extraordinaire Ari Aster to go alongside the UK release of Beau is Afraid… a movie I am also yet to see.  LOOK, I SAID I’M SORRY!  I PROMISE I DO ACTUALLY SEE THE MOVIES I HYPE UP!

9] Blackberry

$525,000 / $1,200,000

Been hearing really good things about this biopic following the rise and collapse of Blackberry mobile phones.  Would be nice to find out for myself some point within the next seven months, Paramount.

10] Love Again

$400,000 / $5,900,939

No BOR next week, I’m afraid.  Yes, on The Little Mermaid weekend.  You’ll have to get your “Sleep Paralysis Demon Flounder” gags from elsewhere.  I (and Kelechi) have Beyoncé tickets which, I’m sure you can agree, takes priority.

Dropped out: AIR, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

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