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'The Fate of the Furious' laps new films at box office

24 April 2017

At least the Heigl movie had a low production budget ( about $12 million) to minimize losses. But other films will have to fight it out for those hard-earned opening weekend dollars.

Following its record-breaking debut last week, the adrenaline-fueled auto flick (and the eighth installment in the popular Universal action series) pulled in an estimated $38.7 million at the domestic box office, still managing to secure a first place finish despite the (expected) 61 percent drop in earnings - and marking yet another significant decrease in the franchise: Furious 7 earned $73 million in its second week alone. Combined with the US and Canada estimated total of 163.6 million USA dollars, the worldwide total is 908.4 million USA dollars, according to studio figures collected by comScore.

Among the new movies, Warner Bros.' female-centric thriller Unforgettable, starring Katherine Heigl, is projected to gross roughly $2 million on Friday from 2,417 theaters for a forgettable $5 million-$6 million debut.

The latest film, directed by F. Gary Gray of "Straight Outta Compton" fame, also features Charlize Theron, Tyrese Gibson and hip-hop star Ludacris.

While "The Promise" could be considered a massive disappointment for its $90 million price tag, the film's backers hoped it would raise awareness more than earn money.

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While Unforgettable's financial exposure is limited, the same can't be said for director Terry George's Armenian genocide drama The Promise, starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac. Box office newcomers "Unforgettable" and "The Promise" both tanked, making less than $9 million in their opening weekends - combined. "It was about bring the world's attention to this issue", he said.

Back in the U.S., The Boss Baby placed No. 3 with $12.8 million for a domestic cume of $137 million and $358.1 million worldwide, followed by Beauty and the Beast with $10 million for a global total of $1.1 billion.

British helmer Ben Wheatley's Free Fire, a send-up of vintage action movies, grossed $1 million from 1,070 theaters for indie distributor A24.

And completing the top five list is Going In Style, which continues to perform steadily among its older target audience, remaining in fifth place for the second week in a row as it earns an estimated $5 million in its third week. Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" should hold onto third with $10 million from 3,315 theaters.