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The Case for Christ

ff8 1 Box Office: Fate of the Furious Nabs $100.2M in U.S. for Record $532.5M Global Start

Courtesy of Universal Pictures.
‘The Fate of the Furious’

Thanks to an all-time best China launch of $190 million, the eighth installment in the popular franchise surpassed the previous worldwide record launch of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

Universal’s Fast and the Furious franchise is showing no signs of running out of gas on the world stage.

The Fate of the Furious, directed by F. Gary Gray, raced to an estimated $532.5 million global debut over Easter weekend, including $100.2 million domestically and a $432.2 million overseas.

If those estimates hold when final numbers are tallied early Monday, Furious 8 will eclipse Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($529 million) to boast the biggest worldwide opening of all time. Either way, it is assured of scoring the top international launch of all time, surpassing fellow Universal title Jurassic World ($316.7 million).

Furious 8 had the advantage of opening day-and-date in China, where it earned a massive $190 million, the biggest three-day bow in history. Overall, the tentpole debuted at No. 1 in all 63 foreign markets, and it did more business than any previous installment in 32 of those.

In North America, Furious 8 scored the second-biggest launch of the franchise behind Furious 7‘s $147 million. Furious 7 (2015) was the final film in the series to star Paul Walker, who died in a tragic car crash in November 2013. Globally, Furious 7 launched to $397.7 million (it didn’t open in China until a week later).

“This franchise is showing no sign of wear and tear,” said Universal international distribution chief Duncan Clark.

Added Universal domestic distribution president Nick Carpou: “Considering this is the second-highest opening of eight films speaks to the fact that people continue to be interested in the storyline.”

Long heralded for its diverse cast, Furious 8 played to audiences of all ethnicities and nabbed an A CinemaScore. Domestically, Caucasians made up 41 percent of the audience, followed by Hispanics (26 percent), African-Americans (21) percent, Asians (11 percent) and Native American/Other (3 percent), according to comScore’s exit polling service PostTrack. The pic skewed male at 58 percent, far more than the last film at 51 percent.

Highlights for the film’s international debut begin with the fact it was the #1 film in all 60+ territories where it opened, among which it was the largest opening in 17 of those territories: Argentina, China, Colombia, Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Middle East, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, U.A.E., Venezuela and Vietnam. The largest of all of this weekend’s openings is the estimated $190 million the film brought in from China, which is the largest three-day opening weekend of all-time in China and, of course, the biggest Hollywood opening of all-time. Top grossing territories include:

  • China – $190 million
  • Mexico – $17.8 million
  • U.K. and Ireland – $17 million
  • Russia – $14.1 million
  • Germany – $13.6 million
  • Brazil – $12.8 million
  • France – $10.5 million
  • Korea – $10.5 million
  • India – $10.4 million
  • Taiwan – $9.7 million
  • Australia – $9.6 million
  • Middle East Combined – $9.3 million
  • Indonesia – $9 million
  • Argentina – $8.3 million
  • Malaysia – $6.8 million
  • Italy – $6.7 million
  • Spain – $6.1 million
  • Colombia – $5 million
  • Thailand – $4.7 million
  • Panama – $4.6 million

The Fate of the Furious has five more territories where it is set to open including today in the Philippines followed by an April 20 opening in Serbia, April 21 in Poland and Romania and an April 28 opening in Japan.

Gray is making his franchise debut after helming Straight Outta Compton for Universal. Fate of the Furious once again stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell. Newcomers include Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren and Scott Eastwood. The story follows a villainous superhacker (Theron) who turns Diesel’s character against his crew.

The Fast and Furious movies have collectively grossed more than $3.9 billion globally. Furious 7 was far and away the biggest earner and the only installment to cross $1 billion on its way to finishing its worldwide run with $1.516 billion.

Fate of the Furious certainly spooked the competition; no other film opened against it nationwide.

At the specialty box office, The Lost City of Z did nicely for Amazon Studios and Bleecker Street, opening to $112,633 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $28,158. The period adventure film, directed by James Gray and produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B, stars Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller.

Another limited offering was the animated film Spark: A Space Tail, which debuted to a miserable $100,000 from 365 theaters for Open Road and the filmmakers.

Back in the top 10, Fox and DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby placed No. 2 with $15.5 million for a domestic cume of $116.5 million and worldwide haul of $287.6 million. (Fox also celebrated Logan passing the $600 million mark globally over the weekend.) Disney’s Beauty and the Beast held at No. 3 with $13.5 million for a domestic total of $454.7 million and $1.043 billion worldwide.

Sony’s Smurfs: The Lost Village continued to remain obscured, falling a steep 51 percent in its second weekend to $6.5 million for $24.7 million in North America and $94.7 million globally. New Line and Village Roadshow’s Going in Style has grossed almost as much domestically as Smurfs, earning $6.4 million in its second outing for a domestic total of $23.4 million and $35.1 million worldwide.

Outside the top five, Fox Searchlight’s expansion of Gifted didn’t exactly light the box office on fire as it played in 1,146 theaters (+1,090) and brought in an estimated $3 million ($2,618 PTA). Gifted will continue to expand to around ~1,600 theaters next weekend.

Also, for the seventh weekend in a row (a.k.a. every subsequent weekend since its release eight weeks ago), Universal and Blumhouse’s Get Out had the smallest drop within the top ten. This weekend it dipped just 28% for an estimated $2.9 million as its domestic cume now stands at $167.5 million.

A few other weekend highlights include Kong: Skull Island, which brought in an estimated $2.67 million and has now surpassed $160 million domestically and Logan, which brought in an estimated $1.9 million and has now topped $220 million domestically.

In limited release, Roadside’s Tommy’s Honour opened on 167 screens where it brought in an estimated $218,920 ($1,310 PTA). Bleecker Street’s release of The Lost City of Z brought in an estimated $112,633 from four theaters ($28,158 PTA), narrowly topping Open Road’s Spark: A Space Tail even though Open Road’s animated feature opened in 361 more theaters where it could only manage an estimated $112,352 ($308 PTA).

Also, Sony Classics’ Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer opened with an estimated $103,664 ($20,733 PTA); Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary from Abramorama opened with an estimated $15,880 from one theater; GKIDs’ My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea opened with an estimated $15,215 from three theaters ($5,072 PTA); Cohen Media’s Heal the Living debuted with an estimated $3,176 from two theaters ($1,588 PTA); and FilmRise’s Finding Oscar opened with an estimated $3,000 from one location.

Next weekend sees the release of five new films including the Warner Bros. thriller Unforgettable along with Open Road’s The Promise, Phoenix Forgotten from Cinelou, Free Fire from A24 and, finally, Disneynature’s Born in China.

smurfs going in style and the case for christ In Theaters This Weekend: Reviews of Smurfs: The Lost Village, Going in Style and More

Courtesy of Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, and Pure Flix Entertainment
From left: ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village,’ ‘Going in Style,’ ‘The Case for Christ’

Read what critics are saying about the faith-based film ‘The Case for Christ’ and the Chris Evans starrer ‘Gifted.’

Beloved blue Smurfs and elderly bank robbers are among what’s headed to theaters this weekend in Smurfs: The Lost Village and Going in Style. Also in theaters are star-studded titles, including Chris Evans in Gifted and Anne Hathaway in monster film Colossal, along with the release of the faith-based film The Case for Christ. Read on to find out what The Hollywood Reporter‘s critics are saying about the weekend’s new offerings — as well as which film will likely top the weekend box office.

Smurfs: The Lost Village

The Smurfs are back and with an all-star cast including Julia Roberts, Ariel Winter, Joe Manganiello, Ellie Kemper, Demi Lovato and Meghan Trainor. The family feature, directed by Kelly Asbury, delivers a feminist angle along with entertainment that  film critic Frank Scheck wrote should “please its target audience” of young children.

Going in Style

Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin play struggling retirees who turn to larceny after their pensions are dissolved. Helmer Zach Braff’s comedy is an updated version of the 1979 film starring George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg. Film critic Sheri Linden writes in her review that although the film revolves around a bank heist, “the real crime in Going in Style is its waste of acting talent.”

The Case for Christ

An investigative reporter and atheist sets out to disprove his wife’s newfound faith in the indie film, which is based on Lee Strobel’s best-selling book. Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway and Robert Forster star.


Chris Evans takes a break from playing Captain America to star in Marc Webb’s comedy-drama about a single father fighting for custody of his 7-year-old child genius niece. McKenna Grace, Jenny Slate and Octavia Spencer also star. Scheck writes, “despite its recycled tropes, the comedy-drama manages to be both funny and moving even if its emotional manipulations are fully apparent.”


Anne Hathaway can now cross making a monster film off her list. The actress stars in Neon’s film about an out-of-work girl who leaves her New York partying lifestyle to battle a giant Godzilla-like creature in South Korea. Film critic John DeFore writes in his review, “The cast’s likability keeps us on board, watching the sometimes baffling behavior onscreen just like those on the streets of Seoul, who gape up at a monster in horror but can’t make themselves flee to the suburbs.”

The Fate of the Furious Smurfs 3 and Going in Style Debut as Moviegoers Await Fast and Furious 8

Nothing major to report from last night’s Thursday preview screenings, which were led by New Line’s Going in Style, which brought in $600,000 from previews that began at 5PM. Sony’s Smurfs: The Lost Village also held 5PM preview screenings in 2,731 theaters where it brought in $375,000. Comparisons for both performances are tough to come by as the films used in our weekend preview either didn’t hold Thursday previews or we don’t have the results in our database.

We will be back tomorrow morning with a look at Friday estimates. You can read our weekend preview below.

WEEKEND PREVIEW: We’ve already seen some strong performances at the box office this year all of which have contributed to the yearly domestic box office topping $3 billion in ticket sales faster than it ever has before. Last weekend, The Boss Baby became the fifth release of 2017 to top $50 million at the weekend box office and while this weekend won’t see similar returns for the week’s new wide releases, it’s the relative calm before the storm as Universal’s The Fate of the Furious debuts next weekend, sure to become the year’s second $100+ million opener. As for this weekend, the top twelve may struggle to reach $120 million collectively as both Smurfs: The Lost Village and Going in Style are looking at relatively soft openings while Pure Flix’s The Case for Christ should find a spot in the lower half of the weekend top ten.

At the top of the box office it’s looking like another close one between Fox and DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the latter of which is entering its fourth weekend in release after recently crossing $400 million domestically and has now made over $910 million worldwide. Both films are likely to lose a little bit of their audience to the release of Smurfs: The Lost Village as the three family features must find a way to share a common audience, but we’re expecting both to drop no more than 46% this weekend. As for the forecast, we’re looking for Boss Baby to repeat at number one by a narrow margin, bringing in just over $27 million for the three-day with Beauty and the Beast estimated to bring in around $25.4 million.

As for Smurfs: The Lost Village, as opposed it its predecessors, this is a fully animated Smurfs feature. The 2011 live-action/animated hybrid debuted to $35.6 million and eventually grossed $142.6 million domestically while the sequel could only open with $17.5 million in 2013 before finishing its domestic run with $71 million. Those first two films, however, saw three-quarters of their worldwide grosses come from international markets, which is clearly the play once again with The Lost Village as it has already debuted overseas, opening in 38 markets with over $15 million last weekend. This third feature also saved on production costs, carrying a budget around $60 million, well below that of the previous two films, both of which carried budgets over $100 million.

Looking at this weekend’s domestic opening, The Lost Village is likely to perform as expected, a bit below the $17.5 million opening for The Smurfs 2, bringing in around $16 million or so from 3,610 theaters. Should this forecast hold, an overall domestic performance below $50 million could be likely.

Fourth place should go to Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell, which debuted with a very soft, $18.6 million last weekend. The film has since found itself a topic of conversation over the course of the week, and it’s the kind of conversation that’s unlikely to help its carryover prospects. Look for this one to drop over 50% this weekend as we’re forecasting an $8.6 million sophomore session.

Rounding out the top five is the week’s second new wide release, New Line’s comedy remake Going in Style starring Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. The film is debuting in 3,061 theaters and industry expectation is for an $8 million opening for the film, which is reported to carry a $25 million budget. Attempting to find titles for comparison isn’t easy, though IMDb page view data shows it tracking well behind titles such as Last Vegas and playing closest to The Big Wedding, which opened with $7.6 million back in April 2013.

The week’s third new wide release finds Pure Flix’s faith-based feature The Case for Christ debuting in approximately 1,175 theaters this weekend as well as holding a special, Fathom event this evening on approximately 450 screens, which should help with its “weekend” haul. Industry expectations carry a rather wide range, anticipating an opening anywhere from $3-6 million, but to narrow that down a bit, IMDb page view data shows the film’s performance pacing closely to the studio’s 2015 release Woodlawn, which opened with $4 million from 1,553 theaters. Granted, the difference in theater counts is worth taking into account, but the title alone should help in getting more of the targeted audience into theaters and the Fathom premiere should definitely help with the weekend’s prospects. Overall, we’re forecasting an opening around $4.3 million, which could find it finishing around eighth place for the weekend.

Just outside the top ten, Focus is adding 265 theaters to their release of The Zookeeper’s Wife, which finished in the tenth slot last weekend with $3.2 million from 541 theaters. This weekend we’re expecting the film to hardly budge if not improve slightly, bringing in around $3.1 million.

Elsewhere, FUNimation will finally bring the overseas box office juggernaut Your Name to 303 North American theaters this weekend. The film has already brought in over $328 million internationally, of which over 65% came from Japan where it holds court as the country’s second largest domestic release ever behind Spirited Away, grossing over $214 million since hitting theaters last August.

Additional limited releases included Fox Searchlight’s Gifted, which will open in 56 theaters; Well Go’s Mine debuting in 26 locations; STX will release Their Finest in four theaters; Neon will release Anne Hathaway‘s Colossal into four theaters; and IFC is opening Graduation at two locations.

This weekend’s forecast is directly below. This post will be updated on Friday morning with Thursday night preview results followed by Friday estimates on Saturday morning, and a complete weekend recap on Sunday morning.

  • The Boss Baby (3,829 theaters) – $27.0 M
  • Beauty and the Beast (3,969 theaters) – $25.4 M
  • Smurfs: The Lost Village (3,610 theaters) – $16.0 M
  • Ghost in the Shell (3,440 theaters) – $8.6 M
  • Going in Style (3,061 theaters) – $7.2 M
  • Power Rangers (2,978 theaters) – $6.8 M
  • Kong: Skull Island (2,753 theaters) – $5.1 M
  • The Case for Christ (1,175 theaters) – $4.3 M
  • Get Out (1,794 theaters) – $4.3 M
  • Logan (1,949 theaters) – $4.0 M

ff8 The Fate of the Furious, Free Fire, and 16 more movies hitting theaters this April

Though the summer movie season just around the corner, spring still has a few tricks — and blockbusters — up its sleeve in the hopes of dazzling moviegoers around the country. From The Fate of the Furious to Colossal, check out these 18 notable movies coming to theaters this April, below.

The Case for Christ

Release date: April 7
Release type: Wide

This Christian drama stars Mike Vogel as journalist Lee Strobel who, in 1980, launched an investigation into the foundation for his wife’s (Erika Christensen) religious faith. In the process, he frees himself from his atheistic ways.

Going in Style

Release date: April 7
Release type: Wide

Directed by Garden State helmer (and Scrubs star) Zach Braff, Going in Stylefollows a trio of retirees (Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Alan Arkin) who take matters into their own hands after a company restructuring puts their pensions in limbo. Hidden Figures director Theodore Melfi penned the script for this upcoming comedy.

Smurfs: The Lost Village

Release date: April 7
Release type: Wide

Everyone’s favorite blue creatures are back for another big screen go-round in Smurfs: The Lost Village, which sees Smurfette (Demi Lovato) finding herself — and a mysterious village — before an evil force does. Rainn Wilson, Joe Manganiello, Julia Roberts, Mandy Patinkin, Ellie Kemper, and Jack McBrayer lend their voices to this family-friendly animated comedy.


Release date: April 7
Release type: Limited

Anne Hathaway takes an against-type turn in the dark comedy Colossal, director Nacho Vigalondo’s sharp (often hilarious) take on the giant monster movie genre — mashed with a gritty personal drama about overcoming addiction and regret, to boot. The Oscar winner gives one of her best performances to date in Vigalondo’s risky hybrid, which offers audiences one of the most comically satisfying payoffs in recent memory. “The movie’s coming from my obvious love towards monster movies, and I was always intrigued by the possibility of setting a monster movie story in a human scale,” Vigalondo told of the project near its TIFF debut last September. “This is a monster movie that collides with a small indie drama, which is an interesting collision.”


Release date: April 7
Release type: Limited

Chris Evans acts opposite his former girlfriend Jenny Slate in Marc Webb’s intimate drama about a young math prodigy.

The Ticket

Release date: April 7
Release type: Limited

“There’s one way of telling [this] story, which is, ‘Everything’s great, he’s got his sight back, how wonderful,’ but actually he feels like he gains his sight, but loses a huge part of his identity,” The Ticket star Dan Stevens previously told of the film’s intriguing premise — a married man, blind for years, miraculously regains his sight, which begins to impact his life in ways he could never have imagined. “Things fall apart in a weird way, and he struggles to rectify that.”

Your Name.

Release date: April 7
Release type: Limited

Though Makoto Shinkai’s stunning animated romance Your Name. was submitted for Oscar consideration in the best animated feature category, it didn’t land a nomination — it posted massive worldwide box office numbers instead. The film has made a staggering $214.8 million in Japan to date, becoming one of the country’s biggest pop cultural phenomenons over the last year. “It was of course a very simple boy-meets-girl narrative, and I don’t think that narrative has been told in an anime medium in quite some time,” Shinkai told after the film won the 2016 LAFCA’s top animation prize. “Your Name.’s success told me movies still have the power to connect with society. As a medium, it still has a power that resonates.”

The Fate of the Furious

Release date: April 14
Release type: Wide

F. Gary Gray directs the latest installment in one of today’s hottest blockbuster franchises, with Academy Award winners Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren joining returning actors like Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, and Michelle Rodriguez for another Fast and the Furious adventure. Diesel paid tribute to the series’ former lead, Paul Walker, who died in 2013, at Fate‘s 2017 CinemaCon premiere. “Part of Paul’s legacy lives through every frame that we shoot. You are reminded of this angel that was so integral to this concept of brotherhood for our millennium,” he said. “There’s something beautiful about that. There’s something celebratory about that.”


Release date: April 14
Release type: Wide

Jace Norman, Jessica Biel, Hilary Swank, Susan Sarandon, and Patrick Stewart lend their voices to Aaron Woodley’s animated space fantasy about a band of space-traveling monkeys who work together to save a planet from an evil mastermind.

The Lost City of Z

Release date: April 14
Release type: Limited

Charlie Hunnam heads to the jungle as real life explorer Percival Fawcett, who embarked on a search for a secret Amazonian city in the 1920s. During production, Hunnam went the method route, telling EW he even went as far as ignoring his girlfriend to get into character.

Born in China

Release date: April 21
Release type: Wide

For its stateside release, John Krasinski narrates Disneynature’s touching documentary about the maturation of a young panda bear, a golden monkey’s relationship with his baby sister, and a snow leopard raising two cubs in China.

Free Fire

Release date: April 21
Release type: Wide

Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson takes aim at the action genre yet again in the thriller Free Fire, which earned strong reviews out of its 2016 premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Director Ben Wheatley said he cycled through 7,000 bullets to film the movie’s numerous shootout scenes.

Phoenix Forgotten

Release date: April 21
Release type: Wide

The Ridley Scott-produced found footage flick aims to add a fresh dose of thrills to the aging subgenre as it follows three Phoenix, Arizona teenagers who vanish while attempting to document their quest to uncover the truth behind a group of reported UFO sightings.

The Promise

Release date: April 21
Release type: Wide

Oscar Isaac fronts The Promise, a historical drama about the love triangle that blossoms between a medical student, an American journalist (Christian Bale), and a sophisticated woman (Charlotte Le Bon) during the last days of the Ottoman Empire.


Release date: April 21
Release type: Wide

Katherine Heigl channels Ali Larter in Obsessed opposite Rosario Dawson in this campy thriller about a scorned woman who raises hell for her ex-husband’s new wife.

The Circle

Release date: April 28
Release type: Wide

Emma Watson further branches out from the Harry Potter franchise with Tom Hanks in The Circle, playing a curious employee who discovers a sinister secret harbored by her tech company employer. “I would never want to make a movie that would wag its finger at the audience or make them feel bad for the way that they live their lives because man, there’s better ways to spend a Friday night,” writer-director-producer James Ponsoldt. “I hope this movie is fun and that there is enough dark, comic, slightly thriller-y distance between what happens in the movie and your own life that you can just appreciate it on that level and then maybe self-examine if you so choose.”

How to be a Latin Lover

Release date: April 28
Release type: Wide

An unlikely cast of actors (Kristen Bell, Rob Lowe, Salma Hayek) join forces with Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez for a comedic romp about a man who, after a life spent seducing older socialites, must come to terms with his own age as he pursues a new target — a wealthy, widowed billionaire (Raquel Welch) — after his 80-year-old wife cheats on him with a much younger man (Michael Cera).


Release date: April 28
Release type: Wide

Jacob Latimore is a young street musician tasked with saving his little sister from a nefarious kidnapping in this Sundance drama.

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