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‘Fate of the Furious’ laps the competition globally

Apr 25,2017
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“The Fate of the Furious” sped into first place at both the Korean and North American box office again in its second weekend. [UPI KOREA]
For the second straight weekend, “The Fate of the Furious” sped into first place at both the Korean and North American box office.

Universal Pictures’ eighth installment in “The Fast and the Furious” franchise raked in 5.9 billion won ($5.3 million) in Korea, selling 680,000 tickets from Friday to Sunday, accounting for 57.3 percent of the entire weekend’s ticket sales. It has sold 2.58 million admissions since its release in Korea on April 12.

The action-packed movie, starring Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, earned $38.7 million in North American theaters over the weekend, down 61 percent from its debut, according to studio estimates Sunday. The film, which had the biggest worldwide opening of all time last weekend, has earned $908.4 million globally so far and is expected to cross $1 billion this week.

In a distant second place at the Korean box office was local family comedy “Daddy You, Daughter Me.” The heartwarming story, which depicts a father and daughter who swap bodies, managed to sell 160,700 tickets in its second weekend.

It was a relatively good performance considering the controversy that sparked after its lead actor Yoon Je-moon attended a promotional interview for the movie while appearing to be hung over.

Yoon, who was caught driving under the influence of alcohol for the third time last year, had to leave the interview in the middle. His behavior came under severe public criticism, especially because the release date of “Daddy You, Daughter Me” had to been pushed back for almost a year due to his alcohol problems.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” rounded out in top three in Korea by selling 105,000 tickets in its sixth weekend. The worldwide hit has made 41.24 billion won in Korea alone.

The reboot of the longtime superhero franchise “Power Rangers” opened at fourth with 405.7 million won while local crime action “The Prison” came in fifth in its fifth weekend with 253.2 million won.

In North America, “The Boss Baby” took second place with $12.8 million, which was followed by “Beauty and the Beast” with $10 million.

Disney’s animal documentary “Born in China” opened in fourth place, with $5.1 million from 1,508 locations. The two other new movies fared worse.

Warner Bros. thriller “Unforgettable,” starring Katherine Heigl as a jealous ex-wife and Rosario Dawson as the new fiancee, opened at No. 7 with just $4.8 million. Critics were tough on the film, and audiences gave it a deathly C CinemaScore rating.

The directorial debut of longtime producer Denise Di Novi cost only $12 million to make, but the meager result still disappointed.

“Unfortunately, the movie just missed the intended audience,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution. “We had higher expectations, and we’re disappointed we didn’t achieve them.”

There is a silver lining for the studio. The buddy comedy “Going in Style,” starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, is chugging along after three weeks in theaters, taking fifth place with $5 million.

Meanwhile, the historical epic “The Promise,” starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, bombed with a mere $4.1 million from 2,251 theaters.

The movie delves into the mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey that many countries and most historians call genocide. Turkey still denies genocide, saying the deaths stemmed from civil unrest and war.

It’s not a surprise the film, which was estimated to cost around $100 million to make, failed to gain traction, comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said.

“It didn’t really jump out as anything that would be a surprising box-office hit,” Dergarabedian said. “But it wasn’t really about the box office.”

Made outside the studio system and distributed by Open Road Films, the point of “The Promise” was to raise awareness around a global event that many know nothing about, he said.

Celebrities from Kim Kardashian West to Cher promoted the film on social media. Its makers said they will donate all proceeds to nonprofits and intend to use the PG-13-rated film as an education tool in schools.

“It was a tough weekend in general for the newcomers,” Dergarabedian said, noting that many moviegoers are likely saving up for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” which hits theaters next week.

“It’s a quiet period,” he added. “This is the interlude between the spring movie season and what promises to be the biggest summer movie season ever.”

BY JIN MIN-JI, AP [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]