'Fast & Furious' accelerates to $72.5M opening
LOS ANGELES (AP) - "Fast & Furious" left the competition in the dust with a $72.5 million opening weekend, the best so far this year.
That topped last weekend's $59.3 million debut for DreamWorks Animation's "Monsters vs. Aliens," which slipped to second place with $33.5 million, raising its 10-day total to $105.7 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Universal's "Fast & Furious" also raced to a record for April debuts, easily passing the previous best of $42.2 million set in 2003 by "Anger Management."
It was a blockbuster opening more customary to summer. But Hollywood has been extending its busy season more and more by placing summer-style flicks earlier in the year.
"It's summer time in April," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Media By Numbers. "We've seen the summer season stretch from what used to be Memorial Day through Labor Day, then the first of May through Labor Day. Now maybe with 'Fast & Furious,' it's going to be early April as the beginning of summer."
The weekend's other new wide release, Miramax's 1980s nostalgia comedy "Adventureland," debuted at No. 6 with $6 million. The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart as summer workers at a second-rate theme park in the late '80s.
The fourth installment of the "Fast and the Furious" street-racing franchise brings back the four stars of the 2001 original - Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster. The new movie has Diesel's fugitive driver and Walker's undercover cop reteaming for more illegal races as they take on a murderous drug lord.
The reunion paid off for distributor Universal, which also pulled in $30.1 million in 32 other countries where "Fast & Furious" was playing.
The original was a surprise hit, but the franchise was slowly running out of gas after the sequel "2 Fast 2 Furious," which starred Walker. Part three, "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," had a new cast and took in a solid but unremarkable $62.5 million over its entire run.
But "Tokyo Drift" ended with a cameo by Diesel, sparking interest in reviving the series with the "Fast & Furious" reunion.
"The marketing campaign let everyone know it's not what you've seen before. It's the original cast," said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal. "For the audience, the first main reason to see the movie was the action, then the car racing, then Vin Diesel."
"Fast & Furious" paced Hollywood to another huge weekend, with overall revenues at $160 million, up 68 percent from the same period last year.
For the year, domestic revenues are running at a record pace of $2.57 billion, up 14.5 percent from 2008's, according to Media By Numbers. Factoring in 2009's higher ticket prices, movie attendance is running 12.8 percent ahead of last year's.
"The title of this movie perfectly describes the box office year of 2009. Fast and furious," Dergarabedian said.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. "Fast & Furious," $72.5 million.
2. "Monsters vs. Aliens," $33.5 million.
3. "The Haunting in Connecticut," $9.6 million.
4. "Knowing," $8.1 million.
5. "I Love You, Man," $7.9 million.
6. "Adventureland," $6 million.
7. "Duplicity," $4.3 million.
8. "Race to Witch Mountain," $3.4 million.
9. "12 Rounds," $2.3 million.
10. "Sunshine Cleaning," $1.9 million.
Copyright (2009) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
Let Streaming Genie help you.