A twenty year old franchise that has been on cruise control, more or less, for a decade, appears to have hit a wall.
“Fast X,” coming just a couple of years after the previous “Fast and the Furious” film, following the amusing but underwhelming “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbes and Shaw,” still managed a decent $7 million plus Thursday night folding into a brawny $27 million Friday.
That puts it on track to pull in a healthy but far from overhwhelming $65 million weekend. That’s $5 million less than the fresh-out-of-lockdown “F9” managed. So, good, but the writing is on the wall. The core audience is aging out of the juvenile genre, the emphasis on “family” and digital derring do over car craziness, Vin Diesel fatigue — it’s all adding up.
Reviews for “Fast X” have been indifferent, at best. I loved Jason Momoa’s villain vamping, but the movie itself is “Stunningly stupid.” “Fast X” is what happens when a film series becames all “fan service” and precious little else.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is holding audience better than one would expect. It’s losing less than 50% per week, another $33 million or so on its third weekend. As Deadline.com notes, it lost almost all of its pricier IMAX and enhanced experience screens to “Fast X.”
Then there’s the “Super Mario Bros.” movie, adding another $9-10 million to its $500 million+ total.
“Book Club: The Next Chapter” isn’t setting the box office on fire. It’s barely over $13 million, picking up another $3 this weekend. The senior audience isn’t showing up. Good movies that cater to an older audience take a while to catch on. This one isn’t managing that, mainly because it’s pretty gassed itself.
“Evil Dead Rise” will add $2 and probably finish its run in the $75-80 million range.
Honestly, none of these movies is very good. A summer of tentpoles and sequels and a ridiculously profitable animated time-killer is nothing to write home about.
Seen “Air?” Go. “Master Gardener” is the best thing opening in theaters this weekend. “You Hurt My Feelings” isn’t bad and opens next week.
But as for summer out-of-body-experience popcorn pictures, this crop of blockbusters has been a bust.
As always, I’ll update these figures as more data becomes available.