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Fast & Furious 8 maintains US top spot as The Circle flops

Fast & Furious 8

Story by Jack Foley

FAST & The Furious 8 has remained at the top of the US box office for a third straight weekend, adding a further $19.4 million to its US total of $192.7 million.

Globally, the eighth outing in the action series also rushed past the $1 billion mark after clearing a massive $867.6 million internationally, including a record-breaking $361 million in China.

If those figures were to be expected, especially its continued US domination, then the under-performance of one of the weekend’s other big releases, the Tom Hanks-Emma Watson high-tech thriller The Circle, did come as a surprise.

Going into the weekend, the film was expected to at least mount a challenge for top spot, if not second. But the film – set in the near future at a high-tech company where a new employee (Watson) uncovers a dark agenda that will affect the lives of friends, family and society at large – took only $9.3 million for a fourth place finish.

The film also boasts an ensemble further comprised of Star Wars: The Force Awakens star John Boyega, Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Karen Gillan and the late Bill Paxton.

Coming in second place instead was How to Be a Latin Lover, with $12 million from only 1,000 locations. That figure was miles ahead of expectations and marked the biggest opening to date for Pantelion Films, a label devoted to movies targeting Hispanic audiences.

The comedy – which was available to audiences in both English and Spanish versions – stars popular Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez and Salma Hayek in a story that revolves around a lothario who is finally dumped after 25 years of marriage and must move in with his estranged sister.

Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raphael Alejandro, Raquel Welch and Rob Riggle round out the ensemble.

Another audience-specific film, the Indian title Baahubali, also over-performed, coming in third with $10.1 million from a mere 450 cinemas. The figure marks the top launch ever for an Indian film in the US.

Few box office pundits could have predicted that either Baahubali or How to Be a Latin Lover would comfortably outdo The Circle.

Outside of the US, the big story went to Marvel and Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, which grossed $101 million from its first 37 markets. It’s an impressive start, which puts the follow-up 57% ahead of the first film when comparing the same set of territories.

The UK led with $15.5 million, the second-biggest number of the year after Beauty and the Beast. It also prospered in Australia ($11.6 million), followed by Germany ($8.3 million), France ($7.9 million), Mexico ($7.6 million), Brazil ($6.9 million), Italy ($4.1 million) and Indonesia ($3.4 million).

Guardians: Vol. 2 doesn’t open in the US until May 5 and also still has China, South Korea and Russia to follow.

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