James Ponsoldt's The Circle is proving no match for The Fate of the Furious despite an A-list cast led by Emma Watson - who is coming off the blockbuster success of Beauty and the Beast - and Tom Hanks.
Early Friday box-office returns show The Circle grossing $10 million-$12 million. The movie cost a modest $18 million to produce so it isn't in danger financially.
Universal's Fate of the Furious is poised to stay atop the domestic box office for the third weekend in a row with $20 million or more. Globally, it will zoom past the $1 billion mark sometime over the weekend.
The Circle, playing in 3,163 theaters, is set in the near future at a tech company called The Circle, where a new employee (Watson) uncovers a dark agenda that will affect the lives of her friends, family and society at large. It debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival Wednesday.
John Boyega also stars in the film, which STX Entertainment is releasing via its deal with EuropaCorp, which acquired the project for $8 million. It's produced by Parkes+MacDonald and was fully financed by Image Nation Abu Dhabi.
Two films with a smaller footprint are impressing in their debuts - How to Be a Latin Lover and Indian film Baahubali: The Conclusion.
Lionsgate and Televisa's joint venture Pantelion is releasing How to Be a Latin Lover, starring Eugenio Derbez opposite Salma Hayek. The comedy, which also stars Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raphael Alejandro, Raquel Welch and Rob Riggle, is projected to gross $7 million from roughly 1,000 locations after beating The Circle Thursday night ($450,000 versus $430,000).
Derbez, whose 2013 film Instructions Not Included was a sleeper hit, boasts a devoted fan base. The film follows Derbez as a man who made a career of seducing rich older women who finds himself dumped after 25 years of marriage and must move in with his estranged sister.
Baahubali, a follow-up to the blockbuster 2015 films, is doing even stronger business and could earn $7.2 million from only 450 locations, including more than $2 million Thursday night. if it hits $7 million, that would likely be a record for an Indian title.
Elsewhere, Blumhouse's genre label BH Tilt is releasing Sleight, a thriller about a street magician that had a strong debut at Sundance in February. The film is tracking to earn under $2 million from 500 theaters. Starring Jacob Latimore and Dule Hill, the film revolves around a young street magician who must use his wits and tricks to save his sister from kidnappers. It's helmed by J.D. Dillard.
The big headline overseas this weekend will be Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which is opening in 37 markets a week ahead of landing in North America, where it kicks off the summer box office season on May 5. The superhero sequel is projected to take in $90 million-$100 million in is foreign debut after earning $22 million Tuesday-Thursday in a smattering of markets.
April 28, 12:45 p.m. Updated with revised weekend projections.