It’s good news, bad news for Universal this morning. “Fate of the Furious” opened with $100 million this weekend in the US, a worldwide total of $300. Ya-hoo! But that’s also $47 million lower than its predecessor “Furious 7.” So take it all with a grain of salt. The tag on the new one is $250 million-plus.
What made the new one open so much lower? I guess the absence of star Paul Walker, who died tragically before “Furious 7” was completed– but he was still in that movie. The franchise lost its leading man despite The Rock and Vin Diesel continuing in their roles. Walker was no Daniel Day Lewis, but in the “Fast and Furious” franchise he found his niche. (I wonder what they’re paying his estate to exploit his memory in the marketing.)
This won’t stop “Furious 9”– which I’m sure will have a title related to “Nine Lives” or something. They can drain this thing for a few more installments. Who knows? Maybe they’ll find a a new guy who can fill Walker’s shoes.
The rest of the box office is a dull story right now. But last night I re-watched “Hidden Figures.” A huge hit financially, Ted Melfi’s movie really should have won the Oscar. And Taraji P. Henson really got screwed. When she breaks down and finally tells Costner and crew about her runs to the bathroom, that’s an Oscar scene. Everyone else is so very good, Melfi did a great job, and Pharrell Williams’ “Running” song also was gypped. Too bad.