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Weekend Box Office: The fate of the flops

The Fate Of The Furious (Photo: Universal)

For about the sixth weekend in a row, the American box office belonged to family—the kind that goes in droves to movies about talking babies and dancing beasts, but also the surrogate kind Vin Diesel won’t shut up about. The Fate And The Furious repeated at No. 1, heisting another $38.6 million from the pockets of moviegoers who like a side of ride-together-die-together sentimentality with their wanton vehicular destruction. Now at $163 million in its second week, F8 was followed on the box-office charts by twin kid-courting hits The Boss Baby and Beauty And The Beast, holding down their positions with another $12.7 million and $9.9 million, respectively. So where did that leave the five new movies that opened in wide release on Friday? Choking on dust, for the most part.

The best performing of the newcomers also catered to all ages, go figure. Born In China, the latest Disney documentary to be completely ignored by The A.V. Club (because who requires a review of a 76-minute puff piece on pandas?), parlayed its promise of cute baby animals being cute into about $5 million—the best opening for one of the studio’s nature docs since 2012’s Chimpanzee, and good enough to land the film in fourth place. Things get sadder further down the charts, as people ironically forgot to see two new thrillers with variations on “forget” in their title. Unforgettable, with Katherine Heigl as the ex-wife from hell, failed to meet even modest expectations; its $4.8 million opening would have looked impressive only around maybe 1993, when these kind of trashy erotic thrillers were last truly in vogue. Still, a seventh place finish was better than what Phoenix Forgotten managed. The umpteenth Blair Witch knockoff abducted only $2 million from moviegoer’s wallets, crash landing outside of the top ten.


Still, neither can really be considered the big flop of the weekend. That distinction probably belongs to Terry George’s historical drama The Promise, whose $4 million opening wouldn’t look quite so disastrous if it didn’t cost an astonishing $90 million. Or maybe condolences truly belong to Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, which made roughly $1 million on more than 1,000 screens—a dire debut that translated to a truly abysmal seventeenth-place finish. (Expect this glorified cult movie to find its audience on home-viewing platforms, including the PS4s and Rokus of university students everywhere.) But there was a little good news to offset all that bad news: A.V. Club favorite The Lost City Of Z expanded into 614 theaters, passing the $2 million mark with a solid $3,497 per screen average. That one is kind of about family, too.

For more detailed numbers, visit Box Office Mojo.

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