February 5, 2023

The strong opening for the film ‘Fast and Furious’ suggests the return of the film crowd

Is the box office back?

Hollywood believes that Universal Pictures expects the ninth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise “F9: The Fast Saga” to gross $ 68 million on 4,179 screens – the largest theatrical number for a movie since the epidemic closes in March 2020.

Opening receipts for the series began at 20 years ago and grossed $ 6.2 billion worldwide box office revenue, falling within the range of previous remakes of the car-racing action series – “Furious 7” in 2015, 7147 million on its first weekend, and 2006 Its Nadir with “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” grossed only $ 23.9 million in its opening weekend.

Internationally, the new film has already grossed over $ 300 million, with most ticket sales coming from China, where “F9” recently surpassed $ 200 million.

According to Universal Pictures, the initial success is a testament to a studio that decided to delay its potential blockbuster by a year in the early days of the epidemic – which was considered excessive when it was announced in early March 2020.

Donna Langley, head of Universal Film Entertainment Group, said in an interview on Saturday: “It turned out to be a great decision. We had a wide variety of scenes, from the best to the worst, which is excellent.”

“F9”, directed by Justin Lynn and starring Vin Diesel and Michael Rodriguez, is not the first film to do well since it reopened its doors in theaters. Paramount’s gamble to delay the release of “A Quiet Place 2” also paid off. The studio has sold out a number of other properties, including “Cumming 2 America”, and the upcoming “The Tomorrow War” to give streamers extra content, and it is a $ 135 million horror sequel to “A Quiet Place 2”, a John Krosinski Memorial Weekend until last weekend. And has grossed $ 200 million worldwide.

Others are not lucky. For example, Warner Bros. Entertainment’s “In the Heights” theaters shut down Reviews From critics. Since its simultaneous opening on June 11 in theaters and on the company’s streaming service, HBO Max, Lynn Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical adaptation has grossed only $ 22.5 million.

“I’m going to call the film market tentatively last month,” said David A. Snyder, owner of franchise Entertainment Research, a film consulting firm. Cross said. “It’s hard to get a clean reading because of the confusion of streaming options – every movie is different.”

In fact, the epidemic has accelerated Hollywood’s interest in testing release methods for its films, and that flexibility is likely to continue in the near future.

Although moviegoers can only see “Quiet Place” and “Fast 9” in theaters, most of the other new releases released last month offered consumers multiple viewing options, clouding the ultimate success of long-delayed films. For example, Disney’s “Cruella” has grossed nearly $ 71 million since its May 28 launch, charging customers $ 30 to watch on the company’s streaming service, Disney +.

The film business is highly anticipated to return to Marvel theaters, but “Black Widow” starring Scarlett Johansson will not be an exclusive theatrical release; It will be available at Disney + for an additional fee. In contrast, similar to Universal’s “Boss Baby” sequel, Warner Bros.’s movie “Space Jam: A New Legacy” will be free to consumers when it opens in theaters, and will be released free of charge in theaters and on its streaming service Peacock, which is a rare twist to the studio.

Are all these release strategies confusing to moviegoers?

Ms. Langley did not think so. “Consumers certainly seem to find movies in a theater or in any of the streamers,” he said. “I think the question shifts as to what it says about the impact it will have on the theater business.”

Mr. Cross says it takes a while to sort everything out.

“You don’t have to close the $ 42 billion business for 15 months, restructure the pieces and expect it to return to full strength in a couple of months,” he said. “The effects of the infection take some time to heal. The new nature is coming – it has not come here yet. ”