Because really there’s kind of nothing else coming out in April, at least compared to what March gave us. It’s The Fate of Furious versus everything else.
Of the 13 movies in wide release this April maybe 4 can open above $10 million, way down from 8 out of 11 in March. Some of these titles I never even heard of until just now and 13 movies is a pretty big number so I’ll try to go fast through most of them.
April 7th brings faith-based drama The Case of Christ, geriatric comedy Going in Style and animated reboot Smurfs: The Lost Village. Let’s say $2-3 million start for The Case of Christ and $10 million overall in the US. Going in Style has a lot more going, like Morgan Freeman, Michael Cain and Alan Arkin robbing a bank. It’s the sort of movie that could turn into a surprise hit, think Last Vegas in 2013 with a $16.3 million debut and $63.9 million domestically. In this case I’ll go a bit lower, $13 million start and about $40-50 million in the US, maybe $100 million worldwide.
Smurfs: The Lost Village is Sony’s latest attempt at a Smurfs movie and if early reviews are anything to go by they seem to have failed again. But kids and their parents won’t really care about reviews, so this should still do okay, $20-25 million opening weekend, $70-90 million in the US and $300 million worldwide. For reference the last Smurfs movie (The Smurfs 2) made $71 million in the US and $347.5 million worldwide.
April 14th is when the main course is served, The Fate of the Furious. On that same date there’s also an animation called Spark, looks bad, $3 million start, $7-8 million total domestically. Now back to The Fate of the Furious which follows after the most successful installment in the long-running series, Furious 7. That one opened with an incredible $147.2 million two years ago, eventually making its way to $353 million in the US and $1.516 billion worldwide. To expect The Fate of the Furious to match that would be foolish, especially considering the circumstances around the release of that film. And then there’s also that saying, what goes up must eventually come down.
After four movies in a row that somehow managed to make more money than the one that came before them, I feel like The Fate of the Furious is where that incredible streak ends. So instead of a $147 start this time we might be looking at $125 million, which would still be way more than all the other films in the series. Depending on word of mouth that $125 million could lead to as much as $300 million domestically. Worldwide I’m sticking to $1.2 billion, a number that could go up as long as The Fate of the Furious can repeat the insane success of Furious 7 in China ($390.9 million).
April 21st comes with Disneynature documentary Born in China, action comedy Free Fire, found-footage horror Phoenix Forgotten, historical drama The Promise and thriller Unforgettable. Those last three are probably $3-5 million openers with $9-15 million in the US. Free Fire looks like my sort of movie, but that doesn’t mean I expect more than $5-7 million first weekend and $20 million overall domestically. Going by past Disneynature documentaries Born in China will probably open around $5-6 million and make $17-20 million in the US. Or maybe Pandas are more popular than Bears, we’ll see.
The month ends with thriller The Circle, comedy How to be a Latin Lover and sci-fi drama Sleight, all three coming April 28th. The Circle should get a boost from Emma Watson’s recent hit (Tom Hanks could help too). So let’s say $15 million opening weekend, a $45 million total in the US and over $100 million worldwide. Sleight and How to be a Latin Lover are each $5-6 million debuts with no more than $10-15 million domestically.
Things should get back to normal in May with movies like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Alien: Covenant or Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.