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'The Fate of the Furious' Wins With $39 Million; 'The Promise,' 'Unforgettable' Crash

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By Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter

Universal’s The Fate of the Furious left the competition in the dust at the North American box office, grossing $38.7 million in its second weekend domestically for a 10-day total $163.6 million.

Among the fresh crop of offerings, it was nothing short of a car crash, save for Disney’s nature documentary Born in China. The doc earned $5.1 million from 1,508 theaters to place No. 5 and come in ahead of the other new films.

Warner Bros.’ female-centric thriller Unforgettable, starring Katherine Heigl, debuted to a paltry $4.8 million from 2,417 locations, marking a career worst for Heigl for a film opening nationwide.

Helmed by veteran producer Denise Di Novi in her feature directorial debut, Unforgettable, placing No. 7, stars Heigl as a jilted woman whose jealousy of her ex-husband’s new wife turns pathological. Rosario Dawson and Geoff Stults also star.

If there’s any solace, it’s that the film cost $12 million to make.

The same can’t be said for the Armenian genocide drama The Promise, directed by Terry George and starring Christian Bale alongside Oscar Isaac. The big-budget movie opened to $4.1 million after costing a hefty a $100 million to produce. The Promise was fully financed by the late Kirk Kerkorian, who was of Armenian descent.

Open Road is handling The Promise domestically. The filmmakers say the film has succeeded in raising awareness about the Armenian genocide regardless of its box-office performance, as well as led to a $20 million donation to launch the The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law.

The other two new films, action-comedy Free Fire and sci-fi thriller Phoenix Forgotten, had smaller footprints then their brethren but still disappointed.

Phoenix Forgotten, coming in No. 11 with $2 million from opening to just expected to open south of $2 million from 1,592 cinemas, tells the story of three teenagers who disappear after trying to solve the mystery behind the 1997 UFO phenomenon knows as the Phoenix Lights. Ridley Scott, Wes Ball, Courtney Solomon and Mark Canton produced the movie, with Cinelou distributing.

British helmer Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, a send-up of vintage action movies, grossed $1 million from 1,070 theaters for indie distributor A24. The pic, placing No. 18, stars Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and Jack Reynor.

Among other specialty fare, Fox Searchlight’s Gifted hit 10 crossed $10 million after earning another $4.5 million from 1,986 theaters.

James Grey’s The Lost City of Z expanded into a total of 614 theaters in its second weekend, earning $2.1 million to place No. 10.

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