Q3 2021 opens with a triple combo from Universal studios: a tentpole in its sophomore weekend and two new releases in F9, The Boss Baby: Family Business, and The Forever Purge. Altogether, the three films contributed $65.8M to the 4-day haul of the July 4th weekend, which totaled $87.6M.
Last weekend’s headliner is the No. 1 film once again. F9 kept their foot on the pedal to cross $100M in 8 days by Friday – the fastest movie to do so since the pandemic. The 4-day haul of $30.1M (3-day of $22.8M) puts the film’s to-date total at $123.2M. This drop of 65% vs. last weekend puts it right in line with pre-pandemic trends for second-weekend performances of other franchise titles. Fans are still racing to the theater on opening weekend to catch the next chapter of their beloved series. Overseas, the movie earned another $374.4M – bringing its worldwide gross to $500.3M. That is enough to replace Godzilla vs. Kong as the highest grossing Hollywood film since the onset of COVID-19.
The Boss Baby: Family Business – Universal’s sequel to 2017’s The Boss Baby – rolled into second place with a $20.0M 4-day total ($17.3M 3-day). That is a respectable open, considering that the Netflix animated series, Boss Baby: Back in Business, has run for several seasons. The theatrical continuation of Boss Babywas, therefore, less of an event than the first film. Also, The Boss Baby 2 was offered day-and-date on the newly launched Peacock in the hopes of boosting subscribers. Needless to say that the NBCUniversal-backed streamer will need more than one movie to compete against Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Netflix – but it probably convinced some to sign-up for a premium subscription.
Third place goes to The Forever Purge with a 4-day total of $15.7M (3-day of $12.4M). As expected, it falls short when compared to the 3-day $17.8M total of 2018’s The First Purge – but with a budget of $18M, no one is complaining. The Forever Purge does not need to score massive numbers to make Universal and Blumhouse a profit. It is the fifth – and reportedly the final – movie in the “The Purge” franchise.
In other news, this weekend did have two other new releases worth mentioning. A24’s Zola (which released last Wednesday) has pulled a Wed-Mon total of $2.4M. The satirical comedy is based on a viral Twitter thread from 2015 – a lifetime ago for everyone but the Hollywood execs who clearly ran out of ideas. Of the 1,468 theaters it played in, Zola saw more success on the coasts – with some sellouts in NY, LA, Austin, and Atlanta.
The other new release, the Questlove-directed feature called Summer of Soul, shrunk from “wide” to “moderate” release – playing in just 752 theaters. Also available on Hulu, it still managed an estimated 4-day total of $805K.
Keep in mind that the threshold for movies to enter the top five is increasing. During this past Memorial Day weekend, the No. 5 movie was Spiral with $2.7M, versus this weekend’s No. 5 – The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard with $3.9M. The two films below it, Cruella and Peter Rabbit 2 – each grossed about $3M, too. New movies drive the bulk of the opening weekend totals, but as we see those totals trend upward this summer and fall, it will be equally important for films lower on the charts to continue a strong supporting role in box-office revenues.
Up next, Marvel will be adding another tentpole to the charts when Black Widow finally arrives this Friday 7/09, in theaters and Disney Plus.