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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘After Earth’ and ‘Now You See Me’ Can’t Catch ‘Fast and Furious 6′

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How rare is it for a Will Smith sci-fi blockbuster to not open at number one at the box office? Also, how horrible must it feel for a Will Smith sci-fi blockbuster to not only get beaten by the second week of a long running franchise about fast cars, but by a magician thriller headlined by Jesse Eisenberg?

Film Weekend Per Screen
1 Fast and Furious 6 $34,538,000 (-64.5) $9,370 $170,377,000
2 Now You See Me $28,050,000 $9,590 $28,050,000
3 After Earth $27,00,000 $7,939 $27,000,000
4 Epic $16,400,000 (-51.1) $4,212 $65,161,000
5 Star Trek Into Darkness $16,400,000 (-56.0)
$4,575 $181,156,000
6 The Hangover Part 3 $15,930,000 (-61.8) $4,468 $88,086,000
7 Iron Man 3 $8,006,000 (-58.6) $2,765 $384,751,000
8 The Great Gatsby $6,265,000 (-53.7) $2,378 $128,256,000
9 The Croods $615,000 (-49.6) $1,215 $180,538,000
10 Frances Ha $552,000 (+0.4) $4,150 $1,578,000

 

For the past fifteen years, Will Smith has been guaranteed box office gold, but that $27 million opening for ‘After Earth‘ is more evidence of a seismic shift for the world’s biggest movie stars (see also: Tom Cruise and ‘Oblivion‘). Five years ago, ‘After Earth’ would’ve opened huge just because it starred Smith. But now? Oof. This was an expensive film, so you know the studio isn’t happy. This was also something of a vanity project for the entire Smith clan, so you know Hollywood’s most famous family will be nursing some bruised egos in the coming months. Also in trouble is director M. Night Shyamalan. ‘After Earth’ is his latest in a string of bombs and weak openings, so we may see the once-great filmmaker behind ‘The Sixth Sense’ vanish into director jail for the foreseeable future.

$27 million may be bad news for ‘After Earth,’ but $28 million is great news for ‘Now You See Me,’ a movie that’s had a big question mark hovering over it for the better part of a year. A thriller about magicians starring a bunch of likable (if not necessarily bankable) actors? Up against a Will Smith movie?! No one saw this one coming out on top. Since it cost about half of what ‘After Earth’ cost, ‘Now You See Me’ should be able to make a profit in the coming weeks, especially if word of mouth is good.

While ‘After Earth’ struggled and ‘Now You See Me’ surprised, ‘Fast and Furious 6‘ took the top spot for the second week in row, gobbling up another $34 million for a $170 million total. If it maintains this speed, the film will surpass ‘Fast Five’ in about two weeks to become the highest grossing film in the franchise. No wonder Universal fast tracked ‘Fast and Furious 7.’

In fourth place, ‘Epic‘ took in another $16 million for a $65 million total. That’s not bad for a non-Pixar, non-DreamWorks animated film, especially since this is the kind of movie that didn’t cost too much and will have a long shelf life on DVD. Right below it, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness‘ is poised to break $200 million very soon, but it looks unlikely to match the gross of its predecessor. Still, breaking $200 million is enough save face, but it’ll mean a cheaper ‘Star Trek 3.’

And that brings us to sixth place and ‘The Hangover Part 3,’ which took in $15 million for a grand total of $88 million. For most comedies, that would be a terrific gross. However, this is a franchise that shattered records with its first two entries. Although ‘The Hangover Part 3′ will have what appears to be a respectable final gross, it’ll actually be massive disappointment.

In seventh and eighth place, ‘Iron Man 3‘ and ‘The Great Gatsby‘ kept on trucking, with the former up to $384 million and the latter at $128 million. They both exceeded expectations with their opening weekends, so now it’s all about adding frosting to the cake, so to speak.

And finally, ‘Francis Ha’ broke into the top ten, taking the token indie spot that has belonged to ‘Mud’ for the past few weeks. We’ll see if it has the same longevity.

Next week sees the release of ‘The Internship’ and ‘The Purge.’ With competition like that, can ‘Fast and Furious 6′ hold the top spot for a third week?

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