While not the traditional “Fast & Furious” film we’ve come to expect, Universal released its first official spin-off entry in the franchise this past weekend “Hobbs & Shaw” looking to compete against the Disney and Sony juggernauts that have ruled the box office for the last six weeks. After “Toy Story 4” broke a long streak of consecutive different box office winners with a two-week run at the top, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” followed and Disney’s remake of “The Lion King” hit its second week on top last weekend making this the longest streak of two week chart-toppers since 2002. However, “The Lion King” looked like it would be dethroned by “Hobbs & Shaw” considering its relatively lackluster holdover numbers for a Disney live-action retread. But there was always the question of whether or not the “Fast & Furious” franchise was popular enough to support a spin-off or if “Hobbs & Shaw” would be embraced by the fanbase. Let’s see if “The Lion King” roared to a third week at the top or if Universal was finally able to break Disney’s hold on the number one spot in this week’s Box Office Breakdown.
It was in fact “Hobbs & Shaw” that ruled at the end of it all taking in $60.8 million from 4,253 domestic theaters over its debut weekend. While it’s the lowest debut in the series’ modern era, it’s the sixth-highest opening of the franchise overall and was right in line with what the studio expected from the feature. Fans loved this film, including myself for all its ridiculousness. You can read my review by clicking here if you haven’t already. But it wasn’t just American fans that turned out. The $200 million production was a huge hit internationally earning $120 million for a global debut of $180 million making it Universal’s fifth-largest global opening to date. “Hobbs & Shaw” has potential to serve as the fourth two-week number one in a row at the box office, but it’s going to need some help especially with a massive number of new mainstream releases on the way, but I’ll touch on those at the end. Looking at the rest of the top five, “The Lion King” fell to second place earning just over $38 million in its third weekend domestically and $72 million overseas bringing its global numbers to $1.195 billion with openings still to come in Japan and Italy. Quentin Tarantino’s highly rated “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” showed great holdover numbers with a $20 million sophomore weekend and a third-place finish. Previous two-week chart-toppers “Spider-Man: Far from Home” and “Toy Story 4” continued to clog up the top five in fourth and fifth respectively.
Looking at the bottom half of the top five, “Yesterday” continues to show a lot of interesting resilience staying in sixth where it landed last week. But it’s the film in seventh that is the real story. “The Farwell”, the latest offering from A24, followed up its entry into the top ten with an even better fourth weekend as it continued to expand onto more screens. The potential Oscar-season favorite moved up to seventh with a $2.4 million weekend on only 409 screens and if you haven’t seen it yet trust me it’s worth the watch. If you need more convincing you can read my review from over the weekend by clicking here. Rounding out the top ten were “Crawl”, the “Aladdin” remake, and “Annabelle Comes Home” while “Stuber” tumbled from the top ten after only four weeks.
This coming weekend is going to be very interesting to watch. Four mainstream wide releases are coming to theaters, all from different studios and each one will be looking to spoil “Hobbs & Shaw’s” attempt at a second weekend at the top. Fox ( which remember is now owned by Disney) will release the dog-themed “The Art of Racing in the Rain” while Bleecker Street will release the real-life sports drama “Brian Banks”. Warner Brothers will release “The Kitchen” starring Melissa McCarthy, Elisabeth Moss and Tiffany Haddish and based on the comic book series of the same name. Paramount will release the live-action “Dora the Explorer” movie “Dora and the Lost City of Gold” while Lionsgate will round out the mainstream competition with the Guillermo Del Toro-produced PG-13 horror film “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” based on the book series of the same name. I don’t know which of these films I’ll get to see and review, but it’s anyone’s guess which ones could surprise or surpass expectations. We’ll see how things line up this time next week.