John Cena in F9

In March 2020, the box office was essentially cryogenically frozen thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. It's been slowly thawing out ever since, with things crawling back towards normal. Week to week we would see some movies hit big, but mandates and restrictions kept the market limited. This weekend, however, the industry has finally crossed a massive goal post: with the July 4th holiday being celebrated across the country, and a nice wide variety of titles to choose from available on the big screen, this was the first weekend since the start of the pandemic that all 10 films in the box office Top 10 made more than one million dollars. In celebration of this fact, we have brought back our box office chart, and you can scope it out below.

F9 July 2-4, 2021 box office
1. F9 $22,860,000 Total: $115,963,960
LW: 1
THTRS: 4,203
2. The Boss Baby: Family Business $16,040,000 Total: $16,040,000
LW: N
THTRS: 3,644
3. The Forever Purge $12,480,000 Total: $12,480,000
LW: N
THTRS: 3,051
4. A Quiet Place Part II $4,075,000 Total: $141,126,659
LW: 2
THTRS: 2,826
5. The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard $3,006,000 Total: $31,384,167
LW: 3
THTRS: 3,361
6. Cruella $2,440,000 Total: $76,478,984
LW: 5
THTRS: 2,380
7. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway $2,105,000 Total: $34,271,482
LW: 4
THTRS: 3,331
8. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It $1,260,000 Total: $62,195,663
LW: 6
THTRS: 1,716
9. Zola $1,230,000 Total: $2,027,252
LW: N
THTRS: 1,468
10. In The Heights $1,185,000 Total: $26,797,024
LW: 7
THTRS: 1,405

In a turn of events that should surprise exactly zero people, Justin Lin's F9 has managed to hold on to its title of being the number one movie in North America, as it managed to pull in an additional $22.9 million from ticket sales. This now brings its domestic total up to over $115 million, making it just the third film since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to make over $100 million at home (the other two being John Krasinski's A Quiet Place Part II and Adam Wingard's Godzilla vs. Kong). Adding those figures to the movie's overseas numbers, the blockbuster has now man $497.6 million, and while that's a total that is nowhere close to James Wan's Furious 7 (which brought in $1.5 billion in 2015), it's not too shabby given the broader circumstances.

It's not all great news for the franchise film, however, as while making $22.9 million was enough for F9 to earn a second box office crown, the figure represents a steep decline compared to its first week. Having made $70 million in its first Friday-to-Sunday, that $22.9 million represents a 67 percent drop, and that's pretty massive. Obviously things still aren't totally normal in the industry right now, but that is a drop eight percentage points bigger than what A Quiet Place Part II did back in May/June.

As far as F9's ranking within its own franchise goes, it should be of little surprise that the movie's box office numbers still have it towards the bottom, but it is slowly growing. Its aforementioned domestic box office earnings are not yet enough to see it eclipse John Singleton's 2 Fast 2 Furious, which made $127.2 million on the big screen back in 2003. The film should definitely surpass that sequel, moving it up to eighth place as far as North American totals go, though the blockbuster will definitely not be the biggest film in America for much longer thanks to the forthcoming arrival of Cate Shortland's Black Widow.

Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris in F9

F9 notably had more than a few competitors working to steal attention from it during the July 4th holiday, including not only other big screen releases, but also Chris McKay's The Tomorrow War on Amazon Prime and Leigh Janiak's Fear Street Part 1: 1994 and Matt Thompson's America: The Motion Picture on Netflix. What made the Fast & Furious movie's race at the box office this weekend especially interesting, however, is that the biggest titles it was racing against came from the same studio. Tom McGrath's The Boss Baby: Family Business is a DreamWorks Animation movie, and Blumhouse Productions is the driving force being Everardo Gout's The Forever Purge, but both films, like F9, have been distributed by Universal Pictures. It's not entirely clear why the studio decided to pit three of its big summer movies against one another during the same holiday, but it is worth noting that all of them appeal to different audiences.

Unfortunately for the company, neither of the new sequels were able to put up numbers as big as their predecessors. The Boss Baby: Family Business (which was simultaneously released on Peacock) made a solid $17.3 million this weekend, but that's peanuts compared to the first installment in the animated series, which made over $50 million when it first debuted. Meanwhile, The Forever Purge marks the second less-than-stellar opening for the horror franchise, as the $12.5 million it made is even less than the $16 million that Gerard McMurray's The First Purge made in 2018. The silver lining demonstrating hope for the latest chapter in that the prequel did ultimately demonstrate some legs, and made $69.5 million before it was done playing on the big screen.

That brings us to the third new release of the weekend, which admittedly isn't the happiest news. Janicza Bravo's Zola was the talk of social media when its first trailer dropped a few months ago (appropriate given the key role that social media plays in the narrative surrounding the release), but that excited chatter has not yet translated to ticket sales. The movie was only released in 1,468 locations, which is thousands fewer than the titles at the top of the charts, but it still only averaged $834 per theater and managed to grab ninth place (stealing it away from Jon M. Chu's In The Heights, which is just about ready to exit the Top 10. It's possible that there were too many distractions during the holiday for people to acknowledge Zola's release, but the movie is riding high on strong reviews and buzz. We'll have to see what kinds of legs it demonstrates as we get deeper into the summer and check up on it to see if it still has the potential to become a sleeper hit.

As noted earlier, this upcoming weekend should be a massive one, as Marvel Studios will be releasing their first Marvel Cinematic Universe feature since Jon Watts' Spider-Man: Far From Home in summer 2019. Will it be able to eclipse the pandemic box office record set by F9 last week and make north of $70 million, or will ticket sales be hampered by its simultaneous Disney+ release? Be sure to head back to CinemaBlend on Sunday for the full breakdown.

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