'The Fate of the Furious' laps new films at box office

Following its record-breaking debut last week, the adrenaline-fueled vehicle flick (and the eighth installment in the popular Universal action series) pulled in an estimated $38.7 million at the domestic box office, still managing to secure a first place finish despite the (expected) 61 percent drop in earnings - and marking yet another significant decrease in the franchise: Furious 7 earned $73 million in its second week alone.

Although the eighth installment in Universal Studio's "Fast and Furious" series - starring megastars Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - shattered records during its opening last weekend with global revenues of more than a half-billion dollars, its North American take so far has come in below that of "Furious 7", which earned $250 million over its first two weekends.

"Fate of the Furious" now has an estimated ten-day total of $163.6 million, nearly the same amount the film made overseas this weekend.

Disney's latest animal documentary "Born in China", a co-production between Disneynature and Shanghai Media Group, is making $5.1 million from 1,508 theaters.

"Fate" brought in an estimated $38.7 million in the USA and Canada, falling below analyst expectations of $45 million to $50 million. At least the Heigl movie had a low production budget ( about $12 million) to minimize losses.

Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" landed in third place again with an estimated 9.97 million US dollars.

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It is the No. 1 film in the world for the second week in a row.

Among the new movies, Warner Bros.' female-centric thriller Unforgettable, starring Katherine Heigl, is projected to gross roughly $2 million on Friday from 2,417 theaters for a forgettable $5 million-$6 million debut.

Open Road's "The Promise" pulled in $4.1 million, a lousy opening considering its price tag of at least $90 million.

Both major releases in the last weekend of May will rely on star power. Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale make up the central love triangle in the movie directed by Terry George ("Hotel Rwanda").

Audience members who saw the film did give it an A-minus CinemaScore but the Rotten Tomatoes rating rests at 46% positive.

Two more minor films also opened in theaters this weekend, too: Phoenix Forgotten ($2 million opener from 1,592 theaters), and Free Fire ($1 million from 1,070 theaters).

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