HOLLYWOOD: Universal’s Hobbs & Shaw sped to the top of the North American box office chart with $60.8 million, while opening to a far more muscular $120 million overseas for a worldwide launch of $180.8 million.
The Fast & Furious spinoff, teaming Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, came in on the modest end of expectations domestically. And while spinoffs aren’t generally expected to rise to the level of an an official franchise installment, Hobbs & Shaw cost at least $180 million to produce before marketing, meaning it will need to do big business globally.
The high-octane action franchise has generally been a far bigger player overseas, particularly in China and South Korea, where Hobbs & Shaw doesn’t land until later this month.
In terms of domestic August openings, Hobbs & Shaw ranks No. 6 after narrowly passing up Straight Outta Compton ($60.2 million), not adjusted for inflation.
At the same time, $61 million marks the best opening of Johnson’s career outside of the main Fast & Furious movies, not adjusted for inflation (ditto for Statham). And it’s the biggest domestic opening of the summer outside of Disney movies and superhero pics, passing up John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum ($56.8 million).
Directed by David Leitch (Deadpool 2), Hobbs & Shaw played to a notably younger and diverse audience. More than 70 percent of the audience was 34 and younger. Caucasians made up 40 percent of ticket buyers, followed by Hispanics (24 percent), African Americans (20 percent) and Asians/Other (16 percent).
The Universal movie, nabbing an A- CinemaScore, has no shortage of star power; the cast also includes Idris Elba, Helen Mirren and Vanessa Kirby — along with two high-profile surprise cameos (Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart).
The eight Fast & Furious movies have reaped almost $5 billion in ticket sales at the global box office, making it Universal’s biggest franchise. Furious 7 (2015) is the top-grossing title ($1.5 billion), followed by the most recent film, 2017’s The Fate of the Furious ($1.2 billion), not adjusted for inflation. The former debuted domestically to $147.2 million; the latter, $98.8 million. They are followed by Fast & Furious 6 ($97.4 million) and Fast Five ($86.2 million) in terms of top series openings.
Disney and director Jon Favreau’s The Lion King, which topped the chart the past three weekends, came in second with $38.2 million from 4,802 theaters as it roared $400 million domestically. Offshore, it earned another $72 million from 53 market for a worldwide tally of $1.19 billion.
Sony and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood held well in its second weekend. The adult-skewing tentpole, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, earned an estimated $20 million from 3,659 theaters, a 51 percent drop. The pic’s domestic total through Sunday is $78.8 million.
Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home and Disney’s Toy Story 4 — which has also raced past the $400 million mark domestically — rounded out the top five, followed by Universal’s Yesterday.