Still from Universal’s “F9”.
Universal’s “F9” paves the way for the 2021 summer box office.
On its opening weekend, the film Fast and Furious grossed $ 70 million in box office receipts, the most of all films released after the coronavirus pandemic.
The previous record holder was Paramount’s “A Quiet Place Part II”, which opened in May with just under 50 million US dollars in ticket sales. Other top openers were “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which grossed $ 32.2 million on the first weekend in April, and “Cruella,” which grossed $ 37.4 million when it was first released in May.
With an additional $ 37.9 million in international ticket sales, “F9” has grossed more than $ 405 million since debuting outside the US and Canada in May.
“The showing of F9 on the opening weekend shows that Universal’s decision at the start of the pandemic to postpone the film well into 2021 was the absolute best move,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.
The release of “F9” coincides with a nationwide easing of Covid-related restrictions and an increase in the number of public theaters. According to Comscore, 80% of North American cinemas were open that weekend.
As vaccination rates continue to rise and the number of coronavirus cases subsides, consumer confidence in cinemas has increased. This audience is also exposed to fresh movie marketing on the big screen, which could tempt them to come back for future releases – especially movies like “F9” which are only available in theaters and only streamed at a later date.
Over the next few weeks, Hollywood will be releasing blockbuster features like Black Widow, Jungle Cruise, Space Jam: A New Legacy and Snake Eyes.
Later in the summer and into the autumn, the audience will then experience: “Dune”, “Free Guy”, “Eternals”, “The Green Knight”, “The Suicide Squad”, “Venom: Let there be Carnage”, ” Spider-Man: No Way Home ”and“ No Time To Die ”.
“‘F9’ is the first real summer blockbuster to be released in over two years and all eyes were on this performance for a glimpse into the future of cinema,” said Dergarabedian. “And that future looks very bright now and bodes well for the big films that are now in the pipeline and will be released in the coming weeks and months.”
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal is the distributor of “F9”.