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‘Furious 7′ Pulls Ahead Of ‘Adaline’ On Friday; Looks To Clock $17M In Fourth Lap – Late Night B.O.

It’s a close Friday night and when one takes into account all the industry estimates, Universal’s Furious 7 with $4.9M is passing Lionsgate’s period romance The Age of Adaline on the box office freeway by approximately $77K. The Blake Lively film about a turn-of-the-century woman who remains 29 for several decades deposited $4.83M into Lionsgate’s purse.

The final frame of April flip flops annually as a date Furious 7 best picture campaign when studios can jumpstart summer (heck, in 2011 Universal proved that with Fast Five‘s awesome $86.2M bow) or take it easy. Knowing that Furious fans were going to stampede theaters to watch Paul Walker’s swan song, distribs opted to counter-program the seven-quel rather than throw another tentpole in the marketplace. They’re leaving that responsibility to Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron next weekend.

F7 is on course to make $17M in its fourth weekend with its total domestic B.O. pushing $319.3M by Sunday. That FSS number is about where Universal expected the film to land; more aggressive estimates predicted $20M. The anticipation is that F7‘s Saturday could put the pedal to the metal for a 55% uptick, thanks to the gas from 615 large format screens, repping 16% of the pic’s 3,808 theater count. Social media buzz hasn’t waned. Universal brought out the film’s leading man and social media star Vin Diesel at CinemaCon to rightfully announce Fast & Furious 8‘s April 14, 2017 release date. Vin Diesel has collected close to 7M more followers combined across his Facebook and Instagram in the wake of F7‘s bow. Not only is his posting daily, but he’s already helping Uni push F7 for an Oscar (see right).

Blake Lively headliner The Age of Adaline may have seduced some ticket buyers tonight who gave it a big smooch with an A- CinemaScore, but the industry is comping its opening to 20th Century Fox’s Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Longest Ride two weeks ago, which drew 73% females. Similar to the way that film was a tad front loaded with a $5.5M Friday and an 11% slide on Saturday for a FSS of $13M, industry estimates are seeing a similar trajectory for the Lakeshore/SKE financed pic which is projected to decline 5% for a $12.1M weekend at 2,991 — but in third place. Sony’s goofball sequel Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is expected to do donuts in second place with a $13.7M second weekend, off 42% for a 10-day cume of $42.3M. Originally, Age of Adaline was scheduled to bow on Jan. 23, but Lionsgate moved Mortdecai to that spot and gave the Lively film its own island in April without much competition. Critics are split on the film at 53% rotten.

f7-best-picThe opening week promotion for Age of Adaline surrounded women with a blitz engineered to drive ticket sales and attendance in groups. In addition, Lionsgate played its campaign off of Lively’s fashionista image with a campaign that included an Allure Magazine-hosted tastemaker luncheon with the actress and NYC VIP media elite such as Georgina Chapman, Lorraine Schwartz and other key fashion influencers. Lionsgate also worked with nine top fashion & beauty YouTube stars to created a custom ‘Fashion Journey Through the Decades’ initiative where each influencer created a unique makeup, clothing, or hairstyling tutorial video inspired by one of Adaline’s decade-themed portraits. All influencers shared their videos across their social media accounts attracting 1M-plus YouTube views. They executed a similar campaign with 30 Instagram platform influencers garnering 1M total engagements. The distrib also engaged Mom Influencer bloggers with over 725K followers to spread the word after screening the film.

On social, some of Adaline facets included Lana Del Rey dropping her “Life is Beautiful” music video across her accounts including Facebook (11.5M followers), Twitter (5.36M followers), Instagram (3.6M), YouTube (1.3M subs). While Lively hasn’t tweeted much to her 275K followers and her 1.2 Facebook fans, she is pretty active posting on Instagram to her 2.3M followers.

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