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Vin Diesel Getty 4.jpg

Box Office Report: Vroom Vroom

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | May 22, 2023 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Film | May 22, 2023 |


Vin Diesel Getty 4.jpg

The Fast and Furious series is one of the weirdest movie franchises of the past 40 years. What started out as a pretty low-stakes action film about underground car racing has evolved into a mega-bombastic furor of stunts, drama, and family. It is Vin Diesel’s baby and he’s going to bring it over the finish line in style. Well, that’s the hope.

To nobody’s surprise, Fast X stormed to the top of the box office this past weekend with a $67.5 million gross in 4,046 theatres. That is lower than the $70 million that F9 earned domestically in its opening weekend in 2021, at a time when the pandemic left a big asterisk next to all earnings. The biggest franchise opening came from the staggering $148 million that Furious 7 earned in 2015. So, this is a franchise that is waning on home turf. Fortunately, it continues to be a considerable draw overseas.

Box Office Mojo reports an international gross of just under $200 million, with a hefty $78.3 million of that coming from China. Hollywood has seen its influence in China wane over the past couple of years, with many major blockbusters not receiving releases in the country. However, the Fast and Furious saga remains a top draw there. The big question here is whether these movies can earn back their hefty budgets. The reported cost of Fast X is $340 million, which would make it one of the most expensive films of all time. That’s about the same price as an Avatar sequel. If we go by traditional Hollywood 2 1/2 times logic — two and a half times the gross of the budget equals breaking even — then Fast X needs AT LEAST $850 million. To be closer to the truth, I’d say it needs $1 billion minimum. Here’s hoping the power of family helps it pull through.

Of course, nobody bothered to compete with the fast cars. Paul Schrader’s drama Master Gardener opened to a soft $269,200 from 220 theatres, which is decent for a small movie by an indie darling (and perennial Facebook sh*tposter.) I’m very excited for the next installment of Schrader’s ‘tortured men who sit at desks and write about their feelings’ trilogy. Justice for The Card Counter!

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is the highest-grossing film of 2023 so far, and it’s not even close. It’s already soared past $1.23 billion worldwide, which is miles ahead of the number two movie, the Chinese historical thriller Full River Red, with $673.5 million. It’s only May and this list could wildly change over the next seven months, but don’t be surprised if Mario and friends hold onto that top spot all year.

This coming week sees the release of the Nicole Holofcener drama You Hurt My Feelings, the Gerard Butler war movie Kanadahar, and the live-action remake of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

You can check out the rest of the weekend box office here.