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SYFY WIRE Box Office

Fourth of July box office: 'F9' expected to zoom past $125 million domestically

By Josh Weiss
Fast & Furious 9

Family is forever! F9 will remain at the top of the box office this weekend, even though it's facing new competition from a pair of fresh theatrical releases (both of which are also from Universal Pictures): The Forever Purge and The Boss Baby: Family Business.

All three movies dominated the top three spots.

The ninth chapter in the 20-year-old Fast Saga is expected to surpass $125 million in North America once the long holiday concludes Monday evening. Helmed by the returning Justin Lin (he directed four previous franchise installments), F9 brought in an additional $24 million domestically over the usual three-day frame, which, represents a 66 percent drop from its U.S. debut last week. Globally, the film is on course to pass $500 million mile marker on Monday — the only movie to do so since 2019.

Dreamworks' Boss Baby sequel crawled into second place at the domestic box office with $17.36 million. Estimates predict it will close out Fourth of July weekend with $23 million. That's about $30 million less than the first movie, which raked in a little over $50 million when it debuted in March of 2016. Tom McGrath returned to direct the follow-up, which finds the Templeton brothers — Ted and Tim — (voiced by Alec Baldwin and James Marsden, respectively) drinking a formula that turns them back into children. Together, the estranged siblings will rekindle their bond and take down Dr. Erwin Armstrong (Jeff Goldblum), the mysterious founder of the Acorn Center for Advanced Childhood.

Also streaming on Peacock, Family Business co-stars the voices of Amy Sedaris (BoJack Horseman), Eva Longoria (Dora and the Lost City of Gold), Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live!), Lisa Kudrow (Friends), and Ariana Greenblatt (Love and Monsters).

It should close in on $25 million worldwide by Monday.

Universal also nabbed the third North American slot with The Forever Purge, which opened to $12.75 between Friday and Sunday. That figure is expected to rise to $15.86 million by the end of the holiday weekend.

Compared to previous Purge debuts, the latest sequel falls about $10 - $15 million short of the average (per Variety), but that's to be expected in a post-COVID period when ambivalence to visit movie theaters is still prevalent. Directed by Everardo Valerio Gout (Days of Grace), The Forever Purge imagines a scenario when a rogue faction of crime-loving individuals decide to overthrow the system and establish the Purge year round.

"He wanted to go back to its original intent," Gout recently told SYFY WIRE, while referring to series creator James DeMonaco. "The Purge is a big political challenge to the second amendment. [DeMonaco] is absolutely anti-guns. And that's how this whole thing started. And so I was encouraged and empowered to take that to the next level and I brought in my viscerality and my authenticity."

Globally, The Forever Purge should arrive at $16.32 by Monday.

"A year after a 2020 Independence Day holiday that saw only 23 percent of North American theaters open and an entire weekend that generated a mere $1.5 million, this year saw the movie theater become a holiday destination for enthusiastic movie fans," Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, tells SYFY WIRE. "Audiences had a wide assortment of films from which to choose and Universal really stepped up over the past two weekends, pulling out all the stops with a popcorn action movie (F9), a family animated film (Boss Baby), and the latest horror movie to hit cinemas (Forever Purge). The results are stunning as these films took the top three spots on the chart."

Now in its sixth weekend, A Quiet Place Part II tiptoed toward another $4.225 million across the last three days and is expected to reach $5.5 million by tomorrow. To date, John Krasinski's sensory-based horror sequel (distributed by Paramount Pictures) has made $145 million at the North American box office. The follow-up has surpassed $267 million worldwide.

Domestic holdovers include: Cruella ($76.6 million over the 3-day weekend), Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (expected to hit $34 million by Monday), and The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (expected to hit $62 million by Monday). On a global scale, Peter Rabbit 2 and The Devil Made Me Do It now stand at $126 million and $173.7 million, respectively.

Now playing in its second weekend, IFC's Werewolves Within will most likely close out the holiday with $136,750 in its lupine bank account. Warner Bros.' Godzilla vs. Kong smashed its way to $346 million this weekend after debuting in Germany to about $1.3 million.

Pixar's Luca (exclusively streaming on Disney+ in the U.S.) hit $3.6 million this weekend for an international cume of $17.4 million. Things are expected to really heat up next weekend with the wide release of Marvel Studios' Black Widow.

(Universal Pictures, DreamWorks Animation & SYFY WIRE are all owned by NBCUniversal)