B.O. Roundup, May 31-June 2: 'Furious 6' Remains Streets Ahead

Sunday, 02 June 2013 10:14 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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B.O. Roundup, May 31-June 2: 'Furious 6' Remains Streets Ahead

America, like Dominic Toretto, lives its life a quarter mile at a time.

It's not surprise, then, that Fast & Furious 6 once again dominated the domestic box office for the second consecutive week.  The illusion-filled thriller Now You See Me, meanwhile, surprised many a box office prognosticator by securing second place, while After Earth suffered the indignity of opening in third place despite its reliable star.

Last weekend, the sixth entry in the improbable franchise led the biggest Memorial Day weekend on record.  Furious 6 declined pretty steeply after its impressive debut, losing 65% of that first weekend audience for an estimated haul of $34.5 million.  Justin Lin's swan song with the series he brought back from the brink with The Fast & the Furious: Tokyo Drift has posted a ten-day domestic total of $170.3 million.

That's already nothing to sneeze at, but consider that Furious 6 has proven very popular abroad, collecting another $310.2 million for a global total of $480.5 million.  The huge car chase is apparently a universal language.

The continued dominance of Furious 6 isn't actually the big story this weekend though.

According to current estimates, Now You See Me, which concerns the law's attempts to stay one step ahead of a team of four world class magicians who steal from the rich and give it away to their audiences, is in second place with an estimated $28.0 million.  Directed by reliable visual effects overseer/action orchestrator Louis Leterrier, the film stars an eclectic cast in an appealingly Ocean's 11-tinted adventure.  The result is a pleasant commercial surprise for Summit Entertainment, especially given that analysts had pegged Now You See Me to open with a figure more like $17 million.

But instead, the magician thriller appears to have outgrossed After Earth, an expensive science fiction adventure starring two generations of Smith.  Initially projected to win the weekend by a narrow margin, the father-son story instead debuted in third place with $27 million, according to current estimates.  When the actual figures are released on Monday, After Earth may very well switch spots with Now You See Me, but the scent of an underwhelming opening is already wafting from the former film.

After taking a rare break following 2008's Seven Pounds, Will Smith returning to theaters last summer with Men in Black III, which reaffirmed his longtime worldwide movie star status.  For After Earth, he reteamed with his son, Jaden Smith, for a film that focuses on the young star, who previously shared the screen with his father in The Pursuit of Happyness.  Despite the younger Smith starring in Karate Kid successfully in 2010, audiences were put off by the combination of Smith and son.  Sony Pictures deliberately played down that After Earth is directed by M. Night Shyamalan, but when critics eviscerated the movie, it didn't seem to make much difference.

Here are the top ten movies in America for the weekend of May 31st through June 2nd:

1. Furious 6                                            $34.5 million              $170.3 million

2. Now You See Me                                $28.0 million             New Release

3. After Earth                                         $27.0 million              New Release

4. Star Trek Into Darkness                    $16.4 million             $181.1 million

5. Epic                                                    $16.4 million             $65.1 million

6. The Hangover Part III                       $15.9 million             $88.0 million

7. Iron Man 3                                         $8.0 million              $384.7 million

8. The Great Gatsby                             $6.2 million              $128.2 million

9. Mud                                                    $1.2 million              $16.8 million

10. The Croods                                     $615,000                 $180.5 million

Next Friday sees the wide release of the comedy The Internship and the thriller The Purge.  Will either unseat Furious 6?

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