'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 Thu, Jan. 2 2014

Wide (1000+)

#TitleThu, Jan. 2 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Frozen (2013)$5,304,617-39%3,3350$1,591$277,116,2046Disney
2The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$4,050,170-48%3,9280$1,031$213,384,4223Warner Bros. / New Line
3The Wolf of Wall Street$2,775,143-51%2,5370$1,094$49,895,1141Paramount
4Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues$2,630,663-46%3,5070$750$98,079,5132Paramount
5American Hustle$2,555,751-53%2,5070$1,019$75,518,9163Sony / Columbia
6Saving Mr. Banks$1,997,068-52%2,1100$946$50,263,3893Disney
7The Secret Life of Walter Mitty$1,924,565-53%2,9090$662$37,469,2371Fox
8The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$1,681,364-42%2,31510$726$400,088,3906Lionsgate
9Walking With Dinosaurs$1,232,342-39%3,24312$380$27,603,5932Fox
1047 Ronin$1,209,695-53%2,6890$450$27,630,4651Universal
11Grudge Match$1,033,505-54%2,8380$364$19,510,0571Warner Bros.
12Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas$641,024-54%1,788-15$359$47,314,9663Lionsgate
13Justin Bieber's Believe$214,659-27%1,0370$207$5,389,4161Open Road

Limited (100 — 999)

#TitleThu, Jan. 2 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Philomena$281,049-49%7270$387$18,143,3516Weinstein Company
2Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom$224,352-59%9750$230$6,005,8185Weinstein Company
3Inside Llewyn Davis$195,061-53%1611$1,212$5,812,3504CBS Films
4The Book Thief$131,764-39%48118$274$18,562,6088Fox
5Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2$130,620-30%3030$431$117,173,70914Sony / Columbia
6Thor: The Dark World$115,945-43%3190$363$202,972,6978Disney
7Nebraska$106,825-51%2500$427$6,385,0487Paramount Vantage
8Gravity$102,463-43%1750$586$255,144,42613Warner Bros.
9Dhoom 3$70,400-74%220-19$320$7,536,1382Yash Raj Films
1012 Years a Slave$68,182-45%1547$443$38,143,34211Fox Searchlight
11Free Birds$57,672-31%2430$237$54,684,3649Relativity Media
12Ender's Game$55,775-43%24913$224$61,436,3129Lionsgate / Summit
13Dallas Buyers Club$54,991-42%124-13$443$15,997,1889Focus
14Last Vegas$48,902-33%2210$221$62,913,3539CBS Films
15Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa$43,427-37%2570$169$101,450,64010Paramount
16Captain Phillips$27,573-43%1110$248$104,713,70212Sony / Columbia
17Despicable Me 2$24,750-41%165-10$150$367,860,09526Universal
18Delivery Man$24,066-40%1360$177$29,768,7516Disney / DreamWorks
19The Best Man Holiday$21,600-58%120-75$180$70,386,7507Universal
20Escape Plan$12,413-47%107-3$116$25,013,46211Lionsgate / Summit
21Out of the Furnace$8,883-42%1020$87$11,164,4494Relativity Media

Platform (1 — 99)

#TitleThu, Jan. 2 2014LocationsAvg.TotalWks.Dist.
1Her (2013)$137,876-49%470$2,934$2,264,9762Warner Bros.
2August: Osage County$26,129-58%5--$5,226$341,7691Weinstein Company
3Lone Survivor$18,214-48%20$9,107$241,8281Universal
4Homefront$12,931-44%750$172$20,158,4925Open Road
5All Is Lost$9,817-47%67-16$147$6,000,57811Roadside Attractions
6Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters$5,984-39%53-32$113$68,497,52921Fox
7Lee Daniels' The Butler$4,382-44%340$129$116,192,31120Weinstein Company
8Enough Said$3,692-55%27-15$137$17,476,40515Fox Searchlight
9Black Nativity$1,327-55%24-39$55$7,008,5865Fox Searchlight
10Oldboy (2013)$1,115-45%210$53$2,193,6585FilmDistrict
11Don Jon$855-51%310$28$24,471,98914Relativity Media
12The Family (2013)$566-54%290$20$36,914,75716Relativity Media