Box office preview: 'Fast Five' in gear and ready to drive away with the weekend

Fast-Five-Vin-Brewster

Image Credit: Jaimie Trueblood

It’s not even May and summer movies are already upon us. The first big, brash, bro-tastic action film of the season, Fast Five, hits theaters tomorrow, and, by all accounts, it’s poised to leave tire tracks on the back of its competition. Rio, which like Fast Five is also largely set in Rio de Janeiro, will have to flap its wings in order to keep going strong in its third week when faced with the equally family friendly Prom and Hoodwinked Too!: Hood vs. Evil.

1. Fast Five: $70 million

Much like the series’ need-for-speed wheelmen, the blockbuster franchise shows no signs of slowing down. Last year’s sequel/reunion/reboot Fast and Furious dropped two “the’s” and picked up a cool $71 million in its first weekend. The fifth entry is opening nearly a month later this year, as viewers gear up for summer, but the sluggish marketplace might keep its numbers from exceeding those of its predecessor. Regardless, Fast Five is almost guaranteed to beat out Rio’s $39.2 million to be the biggest opening weekend of 2011 so far. 

2. Rio: $16 million

Fox’s colorful animated flick benefited from decent reviews and spectacular word-of-mouth (and “A” rating from CinemaScore audiences) last week and only dropped 30 percent. I predict that the high-flying film will remain the go-to choice for animation, beating out the smaller-opening Hoodwinked sequel, and will only experience a slightly larger percentage drop from last week’s $26.8 million.

3. Prom: $12 million

Disney is clearly hoping that tweens and teens will be asking each other to take them to Prom, but it’s highly doubtful that the film will reach anything near the success of High School Musical 3, which sang-and-danced its way to $42 million its first weekend but opened in almost 1,000 more theaters than Prom’s 2,730.

4. Madea’s Big Happy Family: $10 million

Tyler Perry’s films are almost always guaranteed a very solid opening, and last week, he only missed taking the top spot from Rio by a measly $1 million. Unfortunately for him, his films are also almost always guaranteed a pretty steep drop-off in their second week. His last Madea movie slipped over 60 percent, and it’s unlikely that his latest will hold on to much more this weekend.

5. Water for Elephants: $9 million

While Water for Elephants only debuted at No. 3 last week, it did manage to take in the highest per-theater average. However, those obsessed with a certain revivified young actor might find that Prom holds equal appeal for their young teenage hearts, and Water could slow down to more of a trickle.

Opening in limited release is Werner Herzog’s documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which starts off small on five screens and will force viewers to confront their own mortality and the existential abyss of meaninglessness….in 3-D!


Comments (24 total) Add your comment
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  • LOL

    America loves crap.

    • LOL

      Oh, wait, that said Fast Five! Sorry, misread it, looks like a great movie! I’ll be there opening night! I feel so proud to be an American!

      • Liz Lemon

        Did you get confused? I want to see it too. It has a 79% on RT. That’s a good sign.

  • kyle

    Not predicting the other 2 releases?

  • CaptainDelicious

    Fast Five $70? If that happens I will move to Australia. There is no way that tired franchise has THAT much steam left in it when Scream 4 failed (PS Scream 4 was actually good). Given the box office slump, I give Fast Five a $50 million opening, tops.

    • Woot

      Rottentomatoes:
      Fast Five: 79% Scream 4: 57%

      Also Scream 3 came out over a decade ago… Fast and Furious came out in 2009… I’m not a fan of the “fast” franchise, but to compare it to the scream franchise doesn’t work.

    • Jay

      “Scream 4″ had no suspense, no scares, no surprises,and no laughs. Not to mention a horrible performance by Emma Roberts. The “Fast” movies aren’t high art, but they do know how to entertain.

      • Rashy

        Better pack your bags chump.

  • Jose

    Madea’s Bih family opened with the highest per theater average with double of what Water for Elephants earned in pta.

    And CaptainDelicious, if the last one opened 2 years ago with $70 million and is getting good reviews, you really don’t think that there’s any steam left?

    By the way in Australia Fast Five is domination the box office, so have fun there.

    • WIll

      I agree with you Jose, I have no idea why its stated that Water for Elephants had the highest per theater average last weekend. According to Boxofficemojo, Madea was $10,957 and Water for Elephants was $5,979 per theater.

      • Liz Lemon

        This is EW we’re talking about. Shouldn’t be too surprising.

  • Edit Much?

    uhhhh not to correct you or anything here author, but uhh…Fast & Furious came out in 2009, 2 years ago, not last year. Now all that you have to do is tell me why the hell there is yet another twilight cover story when the summer movie season starts next week, shouldn’t thor be on it, or atleast Fast 5?

  • Jose

    Hey you didn’t mention Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. I’m not expecting it to make more than $10 million, but I’m surprised that its opening in less than 900 theaters and none of them are near me. Anyone have the movie in their area?

    • BG 17

      I too was looking for a theatre playing Dylan Dog and had no luck – it doesn’t look like an instant classic or anything, but it would be the movie I would choose if it was available.

      • Jay

        Several theaters in my area have it. I live in Northeastern Oklahoma. Drive on down! (Or up, as the case may be.)

  • RipleyN

    I think it’s going to be around a 60 million mark for Fast Five. Rio will take the 2nd place, while Water for Elephants, I feel, will take the 3rd spot.

  • Matt Malouf

    Yeh it opened in April 2009 NOT last year, u guys need to check your facts and in this day and age it’s not that hard at all. It shouldnt happen even if its a minute thing it just shouldnt happen

  • Danny Mac

    Saw FAST 5 at the Midnight show.. VERY VERY impressed. It’s a whole lot different then the previous movies. Picks up where the last one left off and is seriously great. The Rock was an AWESOME addition. Without ANY spoiler – PLEASE STAY AFTER THE CREDITS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • GS

    With the original cast back + Dwayne Johnson and Luda, I can totally see it blowing everything else away. I’ll be there tonight! This is just pure mindless entertainment and I love it! Vin Diesil, Paul Walker, and Dwayne Johnson all on the screen means the men have tough action and the women have eye candy. Can’t beat that combination!

  • Movie Monster

    Good Top 5 predictions. I think HOODWINKED TOO will land in sixth place and DYLAN DOG will land lower than that. Maybe not in the top 10.

  • larry k

    Fast Five was great!!Might be the best one in the series!

  • Kimmy

    I just seen Fast Five and it was an awesome movie. I loved the action. It was a great story line. People were cheering them on. This one was the best. I was shocked as well about no mention of Dylan Dog. That looked like a fun movie. That will be my Monday movie.

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