UPDATE 1-Box Office: 'Furious 7' Races Past 'Age of Adaline'
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By Brent Lang
LOS ANGELES, April 26 (Variety.com) - Nothing, it seems, and certainly not Blake Lively, can get "Furious 7" to slam on the brakes.
The mega-grossing sequel took the top spot at the weekend box office with $18.2 million, becoming the first film to come in first for four consecutive weekends since "The Hunger Games" in March of 2012. "Furious 7" is one of only 29 films to pull off the feat. Its winning streak will almost certainly draw to a close next weekend when "Avengers: Age of Ultron" enjoys what most analysts project will be an opening of more than $200 million. Domestically, "Furious 7" has earned $320.5 million.
Although it could not elbow "Furious 7" from its perch atop the box office chart, Lively's fantasy romance "Age of Adaline" scored a respectable $13.4 million from 2,991 locations. The Lionsgate/Lakeshore release had been projected to pull in $12 million and cost $30 million to produce. The two partners split the costs and any profits evenly between themselves.
Reviews for "Age of Adaline" were mixed, but the picture still managed to secure a third-place finish primarily by appealing to females, who comprised 75% of the opening weekend crowd. Fifty eight percent of ticket buyers were over 25. The film co-stars Ellen Burstyn and Harrison Ford in the story of a woman who suffers an accident that keeps her perpetually 29 years old.
Richie Fay, Lionsgate's distribution chief, said it was difficult to make comparisons with another film, but likened "Age of Adaline's" holdover potential but likened its durability to "Letter to Juliet," which opened to similar numbers in 2010 before banking $53 million.
"Our audience will remain loyal to the film," said Fay. "The great news is that movies play to female audiences, particularly older female audiences, hang around in the marketplace for a long time."
Despite pot shots from Seth MacFarlane and critics, Sony's "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" held up better than many analysts projected, finishing second in its sophomore weekend with around $15.5 million. The comedy has earned a solid $44 million though Sunday, topping its $30 million production budget. Continued...