Furious 7 speeds to 144 million opening for April; Moviegoers at AMC theater stay on to watch Furious 7; Rebooted Muppet show in the works for ABC



This one’s for Paul Walker! I’m Realistic Fish Head! Ever since the car crash back in 2013, the Fast crew had to reflect on their fallen friend. To that end, Furious 7 scored a big 143 million dollar open in the box office, boosting the best start ever since Fast 6. Did they give Walker the best send off of his career Gene?






Universal’s highly anticipated Furious 7 sped past its already lofty expectations this weekend with a record-breaking $143.62 million estimated start. The well-received seventh installment of the popular franchise featuring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and the late Paul Walker opened an extremely impressive 51 percent stronger than the $95.02 million start of last year’s Captain America: The Winter Solider to establish a new opening weekend record for the month of April. Furious 7 also opened 47.5 percent stronger than the $97.38 million start of 2013’s Fast & Furious 6 to easily set a new all-time opening weekend record for Universal. Furious 7 claimed the ninth largest opening weekend of all time (without adjusting for ticket price inflation).

The opening weekend performance of Furious 7 was made even more impressive by the fact that it was accomplished over Easter weekend; a holiday weekend in which movie-going tends to be subdued. The previous opening weekend record over Easter weekend was the $61.24 million debut of 2010’s Clash of the Titans. Anticipation for Furious 7 was helped out by a number of factors, which included the strong reception to Fast 6, the film’s largely positive critical reviews, a lack of high-profile films aimed at male moviegoers in recent weeks and by the tragic passing of Paul Walker in 2013.

Furious 7 did prove to be very front-loaded this weekend, though that wasn’t much of a surprise given the Easter holiday and that The Fast and the Furious franchise has a history of its weekends being Friday heavy. Furious 7 opened with $67.3 million on Good Friday (which included an estimated $15.8 million from evening shows on Thursday), took in $46.3 million on Saturday, which was a sharp, but understandable 31 percent decline (especially with competition from the NCAA Final Four), and is estimated to fall 35 percent on Easter Sunday to gross $30.02 million. That places the film’s estimated opening weekend to Friday ratio at 2.13 to 1. Despite the early front-loading, Furious 7 will still have the opportunity to hold up relatively well going forward, thanks in part to strong word of mouth (the film received an A rating on CinemaScore) and the lackluster release schedule throughout the rest of April.

Furious 7 benefited from having clear four-quadrant appeal. The audience breakdown for Furious 7 skewed very slightly towards male moviegoers (51 percent) and towards moviegoers 25 years and older (56 percent). The film grossed an estimated $14.0 million from IMAX locations, which represented 9.7 percent of this weekend’s overall gross.

Home was down one spot this weekend to finish in a distant second with an estimated $27.4 million. The successful 3D computer animated film from Fox and DreamWorks Animation was down a sizable 47 percent from last weekend. Clearly, the record-breaking launch of Furious 7 took a toll on the rest of the marketplace in general this weekend and led to additional front-loading for both Home and Get Hard last weekend. With that said, Home continues to perform very well in the bigger picture with a stronger than expected $95.62 million in ten days. That places the film 8 percent ahead of the $88.89 million ten-day start of 2013’s The Croods (which fell 39 percent in its second weekend to gross $26.71 million). Home will hope to stabilize going forward, especially with no new animated films entering the marketplace between now and the June 19th launch of Disney’s Inside Out.

Warner’s Get Hard was down one spot from last weekend to fall to third with an estimated $12.93 million. The R-rated comedy starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart was down a very sharp 62 percent from last weekend. In addition to the new direct competition from Furious 7, Get Hard was also likely hurt this weekend by mixed word of mouth and poor critical reviews. The ten-day take for Get Hard stands at $57.00 million. That is towards the lower end of pre-release expectations and places the film 18.5 percent behind the $69.95 million ten-day gross of 2010’s The Other Guys (which fell 51 percent in its second weekend to gross $17.41 million).

Cinderella claimed fourth place this weekend with an estimated $10.29 million. Disney’s blockbuster fairy tale adaptation had one of the weekend’s better percentage holds among wide releases, as it was down 35 percent from the previous frame. Cinderella has grossed a strong $167.25 million in 24 days. That currently ranks the film as the highest grossing release of 2015 to date, though obviously Furious 7 will be overtaking it for first place in just a matter of days. Cinderella is running 10 percent behind the $185.88 million 24-day take of last year’s Maleficent.

Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series: Insurgent followed closely behind in fifth with an estimated $10.0 million. The second installment of the young adult series starring Shailene Woodley fell a sharp 54 percent from last weekend. Insurgent surpassed the $100 million domestic mark this weekend and continues to perform on the lower end of expectations with a 17-day take of $103.38 Million. That places the film 9 percent behind the $114.01 million 17-day gross of last year’s Divergent.

On the limited front, The Weinstein Company’s Woman in Gold was off to an encouraging start with an estimated $2.00 million from 258 locations. That gave the drama starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds a per-location average of $7,767 and placed the film in seventh place for the frame. Since its debut on Wednesday, Woman in Gold has grossed $2.099 million to date.



To recap as we hop towards Easter weekend, Furious 7 drives through the competition 1st, Home, which saved DreamWorks last week moves 2nd,  Get Hard gets slammed in 3rd, Cinderella, boosted by a strong open thanks to Home moves 4th, and Insurgent, pulled in a 54% drop, moves 5th.



Furious 7 made a 130 million smacker start back on Good Friday. So good that moviegoers wanted to see Paul Walker’s last role since he was digitally inserted before he bit the dust. Where did they stay in Johnny?




Johnny Trout (via The Hollywood Reporter)- Based on demand, the AMC Fresh Meadows 7 in Queens, New York hasn’t closed its doors since Universal’s Furious 7 opened Thursday night, offering round-the-clock showings of the final movie from the late Paul Walker.

Few can remember any theater keeping its doors open 24/7, save for some installments in the Harry Potter and the Dark Knight series.

“Our theaters don’t want to end the night on a sellout, so as long as guests are still filling up the auditoriums, we keep the doors open and the popcorn hot,” said AMC’s Ryan Noonan.


Fresh Meadows, located in a diverse area of Queens, quickly found itself adding showings. It paid off, with the cinema setting a new daily attendance record Friday that bested Fifty Shades of Grey.

AMC upgraded the seven-plex two years by installing plush, red-leather reclining seats and offering expanded food choices, giving the theater a competitive edge over nearby rivals and boosting ticket sales.

So far, Fresh Meadows is the only theater known to be staying open all night for Furious 7, which is on course to gross a massive $150 million over Easter weekend in North America for a total worldwide launch well north of $300 million.



Kermit and the Muppets may be back on the small screen soon off of their latest sequel Muppets Most Wanted. We don’t have the latest info yet, but things should be clear in the next few weeks. As of now Jim, who’s bringing the Muppets back?



Jim Fish (via The Wrap)- ABC has ordered a pilot presentation with “Muppets” characters from “Big Bang Theory” co-creator Bill Prady and “Anger Management’s” Bob Kushell, the network said on Friday.

Details on the project are scarce, but if the presentation is well received it may be ordered straight to series.

The “Muppets” TV iteration is produced by ABC Studios and The Muppets Studios, which Disney owns along with all of the “Muppets” properties originally created by Jim Henson.

The project is being described as a behind-the-scenes comedy involving classic “Muppets” characters like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and others. The proof of concept presentation is set to film next week.



“The Muppets” have starred in seven TV series to date and several specials, both animated and live-action puppetry. Disney purchased the “Muppets” characters from the Jim Henson Company in 2004 and rebooted the franchise with a self-titled movie in 2008.

Prady, who co-created CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” along with Chuck Lorre and currently serves as an executive producer on that series, will write the proof of concept and run the show along with Kushell.



Checking the Penguins tally, 1,736 fans sign in as Team Skipper pays tribute to the late Paul Walker. You’ll be missed buddy!



Harvey Beaks has found a new home on Sunday nights! With that addition, he befriends SpongeBob, Sanjay and Craig, and Breadwinners as the fun and excitement continues. See Harvey and the rest of the lineup every Sunday night! This is Realistic Fish Head as we welcome Harvey to the toon universe!

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