Can the 8th Installment of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS Live Up to Sky High Expectations?

Studio executives do not make the decisions about when and how to release their films arbitrarily. One of the biggest concerns that studios look at is how a film fits into the calendar year and what other potential movies may hit theaters on the same opening weekend.  Both of those factors are important to this weekend’s single movie release, the eighth installment in the popular Fast and Furious franchise: The Fate of the Furious.

The Fate of the Furious is the only movie getting a large nationwide release this weekend. That’s unusual, because typically a spring weekend will see anywhere from two to four major films hitting national distribution. In this case, however, the reason is clear: The Fate of the Furious is benchmarked by some industry watchers as a film that could do a whopping $115 million or more in domestic receipts from this weekend alone. For other studios, that means that promotion bandwidth in media heading into this weekend, as well as multiple screens in many theaters, are all going to be devoted to this potential blockbuster. Rather than try to compete head-to-head, it’s easier to simply punt.

Unanimous A. I. wondered if a swarm of movie fans would agree with the industry assessments regarding The Fate of the Furious. Using the UNU, the Swarm AI platform, this group of fans watched the theatrical trailer for the film and then assessed how they felt the movie would be perceived in the marketplace.

It should come as no surprise that the draw of the movies in this series is nonstop action. UNU wasn’t quite sure what to make of any of any vague plot or storyline as revealed by the trailer, and if this was a more traditional movie release, that might be a sign of trouble. But the swarm’s overwhelming response in the replay above to the action elements in the movie, however, suggest this movie can easily overcome that. The action isn’t the only draw here, though.

The Fate of the Furious boasts an action movie all-star cast, with Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, and Jason Statham in lead roles, supported by Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron. The swarm’s response should be a bit of a relief to the studio, who tragically lost franchise star Paul Walker two years ago and decided to go this route for future films in the series. And though a star-studded film like this is an expensive proposition, the replay shows that UNU thinks that money was well-spent. 

UNU believes that the robust $100-120 million estimate for The Fate of the Furious might actually be understating the film’s potential this weekend. As we’ve discussed, this swarm was already enthusiastic about the over-the-top action elements and popular, charismatic cast in the film, and saw that translating into a huge weekend for Furious.

The image above is an Inflection Analysis from our Swarm Insight portal that illustrates the point where the swarm reacts to predictions that are either too low or too high. The question the swarm is answering here is for a final box office prediction for The Fate of the Furious, and the graphic shows that the swarm settles things at a $134 million figure. That would set this movie as one of the highest-grossing Easter weekend debuts of all time, and the second-highest film debut ever for the month of April.

Unanimous A. I. will look at movies regularly as studios throttle up for a busy summer season. If you’d like to get UNU Swarm insights on movies and the entertainment industry sent to you each week, just drop us a line below.