'Furious 7' Leads Third Straight Weekend Race with $29.1M; 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2' Claims Second with Solid $24.0M Debut; 'Unfriended' Takes Third with $16.0MApril 19, 2015 08:47 AM

by Daniel Garris

Universal's Furious 7 took in an estimated $29.06 million this weekend to lead the weekend box office for a third consecutive frame. The seventh installment of the blockbuster franchise featuring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and the late Paul Walker was down 51 percent from last weekend. This weekend's hold was respectable, especially when taking into account the size of the film's grosses thus far and the added presence of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and Unfriended in the marketplace. Furious 7 has grossed a massive $294.41 million in 17 days of release. That leaves the film just $5.59 million away from reaching the $300 million domestic milestone. Furious 7 is currently running a very impressive 45 percent ahead of the $202.81 million 17-day take of 2013's Fast & Furious 6 and a slim 3 percent behind the $302.45 million 17-day gross of 2012's The Hunger Games.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 debuted in a not-so-distant second place with an estimated $24.0 million. Sony's modestly budgeted Kevin James led comedy sequel debuted in line with expectations. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 did open 25 percent below the $31.83 million debut of 2009's Paul Blart: Mall Cop, but the sequel had been widely expected to open below its predecessor due in part to the six-year gap in between films. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 did open 20 percent ahead of the $20.07 million start of 2011's Zookeeper. The solid opening weekend performance is good news for James, who will appear in Sony's upcoming Pixels this July.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 opened with $7.35 million on Friday (which included an estimated $450,000 from Thursday evening shows), increased a healthy 39 percent on Saturday to gross $10.2 million and is estimated to decline 37 percent on Sunday to gross $6.45 million. The film's estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio stands at 3.27 to 1, which is evidence of the film's appeal with family audiences. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 did receive a lackluster B- rating on CinemaScore. While the film is highly unlikely to match the strong holding power of its predecessor, it will still have a solid chance of holding up well in the weeks ahead due in part to facing a limited amount of competition for family audiences (outside of Disney's Avengers: Age of Ultron).

Universal's Unfriended debuted in third with an estimated $16.02 million. The ultra low-budget horror film from Blumhouse Productions opened on the low end of pre-release expectations. While Unfriended was unable to break out to the degree its high level of online activity had suggested; the film still performed well this weekend with its small price tag in mind. The potential for Unfriended may have also been limited a bit by its R rating. Unfriended opened 19 percent below the $19.88 million start of last year's Ouija.

Unfriended opened with $6.8 million on Friday (which included an estimated $656,000 from Thursday evening shows), fell 12 percent on Saturday to gross $6.0 million and is estimated to decline 46 percent on Sunday to take in $3.22 million. That places the film's estimated opening weekend to Friday at an understandably front-loaded 2.36 to 1. Unfriended received a C rating on CinemaScore, which is respectable by horror film standards.

Home placed in fourth this weekend with an estimated $10.3 million. The successful 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation fell 44 percent from last weekend, as the film took a bit of a hit from the new competition from Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. While it has been relatively front-loaded for a computer animated film, Home continues to exceed expectations in a big way with a 24-day take of $142.61 million. That places the film essentially on par with the $142.44 million 24-day take of 2013's The Croods.

Fellow Fox release The Longest Ride rounded out the weekend's top five with an estimated $6.85 million. The Nicholas Sparks adaptation starring Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood fell 47 percent from last weekend's debut. While that represented a sizable second weekend decline, it also represented a respectable second weekend hold given that Sparks adaptations often experience sharp second weekend declines. The Longest Ride has grossed $23.51 million in ten days. That is on the low end of expectations and places the film 34 percent ahead of the $17.55 million ten-day gross of last year's The Best of Me.

Meanwhile, Monkey Kingdom debuted in seventh place with an estimated $4.72 million. The latest nature documentary from Disney's Disneynature label debuted on the low end of its modest expectations. Despite receiving the widest launch ever for a Disneynature film (2,012 locations); Monkey Kingdom delivered the softest opening weekend performance to date for Disneynature. Monkey Kingdom opened just below the $4.78 million start of last year's Bears.

Monkey Kingdom took in $1.55 million on Friday, increased a slim 8 percent on Saturday to take in $1.67 million and is estimated to decline 10.5 percent on Sunday to gross $1.49 million. That gives the film an estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio of 3.04 to 1. Monkey Kingdom will likely hold up well during the week, thanks in part to a promising A- CinemaScore, the past midweek strength of Disneynature films and from Earth Day falling on Wednesday.

On the platform front, A24's Ex Machina continued to perform well with an estimated $814,293 from 39 locations. That gave the critically acclaimed Alex Garland directed sci-fi film a per-location average of $20,879 for the frame. Ex Machina has grossed $1.14 million through ten days of platform release and is scheduled to receive a major expansion on Friday.

Daily Domestic Gross Tue, Jan. 1 2013

Wide (1000+)

#TitleTue, Jan. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$9,454,72137%4,1000$2,306$238,001,3253Warner Bros. / New Line
2Django Unchained$9,227,88679%3,0100$3,066$77,833,4971Weinstein Company
3Les Miserables (2012)$7,611,87022%2,8146$2,705$80,579,1101Universal
4Parental Guidance$4,663,0740%3,3678$1,385$38,656,4241Fox
5Jack Reacher$4,265,05126%3,3520$1,272$51,815,6932Paramount
6This is 40$3,657,07045%2,9141$1,255$42,609,0302Universal
7Lincoln$2,463,3236%1,9660$1,253$136,652,4208Disney / DreamWorks
8The Guilt Trip$2,063,86614%2,4310$849$24,834,7872Paramount
9Monsters, Inc. 3D$1,944,35135%2,6180$743$21,958,3312Disney
10Rise of The Guardians$1,553,96830%2,0550$756$92,891,6276Paramount / DreamWorks
11Skyfall$1,395,8504%1,6370$853$292,300,1218Sony / Columbia
12Life of Pi$1,311,28733%1,17867$1,113$86,951,1036Fox
13The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2$604,98058%1,1918$508$287,027,8737Lionsgate / Summit

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleTue, Jan. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Silver Linings Playbook$1,353,59820%7450$1,817$29,812,5847Weinstein Company
2Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away$817,88323%8400$974$8,908,7242Paramount
3Wreck-It Ralph$616,96127%9130$676$176,606,9809Disney
4Argo$322,3649%3450$934$109,043,28412Warner Bros.
5Hotel Transylvania$168,82252%3010$561$145,490,51214Sony / Columbia
6Anna Karenina (2012)$162,68037%218-19$746$10,987,6857Focus
8Hitchcock$125,39819%349-2$359$5,216,6056Fox Searchlight
9Red Dawn (2012)$117,06458%42523$275$43,585,1166FilmDistrict
10Here Comes the Boom$104,19654%252-17$413$43,703,85212Sony / Columbia
11Taken 2$65,39968%232-8$282$139,001,77813Fox
12Pitch Perfect$41,17573%183-7$225$64,468,54314Universal
13Playing For Keeps (2012)$38,62328%2680$144$12,756,5404FilmDistrict
14The Perks of Being A Wallflower$28,06573%125-1$225$17,356,12215Lionsgate / Summit
15End of Watch$25,384110%162-10$157$40,792,11815Open Road

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleTue, Jan. 1 2013LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Hyde Park on Hudson$160,9456%845$1,916$2,050,8424Focus
2Zero Dark Thirty$116,33958%50$23,268$1,559,0712Sony / Columbia
3The Impossible$69,98953%150$4,666$598,7922Lionsgate / Summit
4Promised Land (2012)$67,95830%25--$2,718$294,3181Focus
5The Sessions$21,64748%805$271$5,550,95711Fox Searchlight
6Not Fade Away$19,03015%1916$1,002$131,3542Paramount Vantage
7To the Arctic 3D$16,553-26%520$318$10,535,17837Warner Bros. / IMAX
8A Late Quartet$14,3304%37-2$387$1,295,2939Entertainment One / RKO
9Killing Them Softly$13,325122%680$196$14,849,9555Weinstein Company
10Ice Age: Continental Drift$13,25639%62-2$214$161,152,85525Fox
11Looper$11,16366%84-9$133$66,486,20514Sony / TriStar
12Sinister$10,651131%820$130$48,072,20712Lionsgate / Summit
13Born to Be Wild 3D$10,27314%300$342$21,642,86491Warner Bros. / IMAX
14Alex Cross$9,64673%771$125$25,879,13411Lionsgate / Summit
15Cloud Atlas$7,36190%450$164$26,793,03410Warner Bros.
16The Intouchables$6,82930%114$621$13,139,03232Weinstein Company
17Talaash$6,003110%16-9$375$2,860,0125Reliance Entertainment
18Paranormal Activity 4$5,206140%500$104$53,892,20011Paramount
19The Master$4,33249%130$333$15,963,89916Weinstein Company
21The Polar Express (2012 re-issue)$1,9472%150$130$669,2896Warner Bros.
22Arbitrage$1,922118%72$275$7,911,53516Roadside Attractions