APRIL 17 UPDATE: Action tentpole scores third biggest April debut in history.

The Fate Of The Furious

While all eyes will be on the spectacular international and global performance at the weekend, The Fate And The Furious demolished the competition in North America with the third biggest April debut on a confirmed $98.8m.

Universal’s eighth instalment in the action franchise delivered a robust launch over three days to propel the worldwide debut to a stunning confirmed $532m that will overtake Star Wars: The Force Awakens on $529m if the studio confirms that number this week.

The Fate Of The Furious opened in 4,310 theatres and ranks as the second biggest opening in the franchise behind Furious 7 on $147.2m back in April 2015.

Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham, Ludacris and Charlize Theron star and F. Gary Gray directed.

Last weekend’s champion The Boss Baby ranks second and has crossed $100m after three weekends to stand at $116.3m.

Disney’s $1bn global behemoth Beauty And The Beast ranks third on $454.7m after five.

There were not such good news for Paramount’s sci-fi action release Ghost In The Shell, which plummeted 66% and six places to number 11 in its third session on $2.5m for $37.1m after three weekends.

Fox Searchlight’s Gifted was the best of the leading releases in their second weekends, climbing 10 places to number six as box office soared 590% following an expansion from 56 to 1,146 sites. The drama added $3.1m for $4.4m.

Smurfs: The Lost Village dropped 49% and fell one place to number four through Sony on $6.7m for $24.9m, while Warner Bros’ grey dollar crime heist Going In Style added $6.3m for $23.3m and also fell one place to number five.

Pure Flix’s The Case For Christ dropped a mere 31% and climbed one place to number nine on $2.8m for $8.5m.

James Gray’s adventure The Lost City Of Z starring Charlie Hunnam opened at number 28 through Bleecker Street on $112,633 from four sites. SPC opened Richard Gere drama Norman at number 30 on $99,211 from five.

Roadside Attractions opened Tommy’s Honour at number 23 on $208,766 in 167 theatres, and Open Road opened Spark: A Space Tail at number 27 on $116,873 in 365.

The top 12 combined for $160.3m, marking a 44% gain on last weekend and a 4.5% drop on the comparable session in 2016 when The Jungle Book opened top.

This week’s wide releases are: the Warner Bros thriller Unforgettable starring Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson; Terry George’s drama The Promise through Open Road; Disneynature’s Born In China; A24’s Ben Wheatley thriller Free Fire with Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and Armie Hammer; and sci-fi Phoenix Forgotten through Cinelou Films.

Confirmed top 10 North America April 14-16, 2017
Film (Dist) / Conf wkd gross / Conf total to date

1 (-) The Fate Of The Furious (Universal) Universal Pictures International $98.8m –

2 (1) The Boss Baby (Fox) Fox International $16m $116.8m

3 (2) Beauty And The Beast (Buena Vista) Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International $13.7m $454.7m

4 (3) Smurfs: The Lost Village (Sony) Sony Pictures Releasing International $6.7m $24.9m

5 (4) Going In Style (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Pictures International $6.3m $23.3m

6 (16) Gifted (Fox Searchlight) $3.1m $4.4m

7 (8) Get Out (Universal) Universal Pictures International $2.9m $167.6m

8 (6) Power Rangers (Lionsgate) Lionsgate international $2.8m $80.5m

9 (10) The Case For Christ (Pure Flix) Pure Flix International $2.76m $8.5m

10 (7) Kong: Skull Island (Warner Bros) Warner Bros Pictures International $2.7m $161.3m