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Sunday
Apr052009

Box Office - 'Fast & Furious' Destroys April Records

Nobody, anywhere, predicted that Fast & Furious would have the biggest opening ever for a movie released in April. And yet, three days and $72 million later, that's exactly what we have.

It's the biggest debut since The Dark Knight, just a hundred thousand less than Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, although it debuted in fewer theaters than the last LOTR movie, too. On a per-screen average, Fast & Furious made over $1,500 more. In other words, it's one of the biggest all-time openings ever, and definitely one of the most surprising.

We wondered after its $30 million debut exactly how well the film would hold up over the rest of the opening stanza, and it did pretty well, dipping only 19% on Saturday ($24 million), and 30% on the Sunday estimates ($17 million), according to Box Office Mojo. So anybody wondering why they'd return again to make a fifth movie in the series certainly has their answer now.

It was a good weekend beyond Fast & Furious, too, with the rest of the top ten taking in over $75 million, led by a strong second weekend for Monsters vs. Aliens with $33 million and change. The week's other notable release, Adventureland couldn't generate enough coin to land in the top five, but still earned $6 million.

One of the year's biggest success stories, Taken finally fell out of the top ten after nine weeks and $140 million.

Where will Fast & Furious end its run? It's tough to say. You would expect a repeat performance at number one next week, but with four straight weeks of films targeting men in their 20s - Furious, Observe and Report, Crank 2, and Fighting, that might be too many films in the same category for this hit to make $200 million. You would have to think $150 is practically guaranteed at this point, and anything north of that would be gravy.

The Top Five:
1 - Fast & Furious ($72.5 million)
2 - Monsters vs. Aliens ($33.5 million)
3 - The Haunting in Connecticut ($9.5 million)
4 - Knowing ($8.1 million)
5 - I Love You, Man ($7.8 million)

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