It was a little less furious and a lot more subdued this weekend in theatres as audiences continued to throw their money at ticket booths just trying to pass the time until this coming weekend when the real summer fun gets here – but more on that later. This weekend at the Box Office however was overall relativity so-so and the films with the best performances were the ones with the most meager of star power and theatre count.

Taking the top of the Box Office for a third weekend in a row was Universal’s The Fate of the Furious which pulled in an additional $19.9 million this weekend, bringing it overall worldwide cume to over $1 billion. That’s sweet tire squealing music to Universal’s ears as that makes it the 5th film from the studio to cross the billion-dollar threshold.

Coming in second this weekend was Lionsgate and Pantelion’s How to Be a Latin Lover, which despite only opening in just over 1,100 theaters, took home an impressive $12.3 million dollars domestically and scored a spicy “A+” on Cinemascore from opening day audiences. For me it is so awesome to see this film from Ken Marino receive such support from the Hispanic community whom made up 89% of the audience this weekend. No the movie isn’t going to shatter any glass ceilings or snag any awards or honors, but I’m hoping this film will be an encouragement to other filmmakers to continue telling their stories on the big screen that are reflective and authentic to their cultural upbringing and background. 

And speaking of just that, taking third this weekend was Great India Films, Baahubali 2: The Conclusion which came out of nowhere with a weekend haul of $10.4 million from only 425 theatres! While a $24,000 per theater average isn’t the best average of all time it is quite notable for a film this time of year and the fact that this film, a largely unheard of sequel follow up to Blue Sky Cinema’s 2015 first chapter, topped a poorly conceptualized, weakly written film starring Tom Hanks does prove to me that maybe the American masses are waking up and realizing that substance and story trumps name notability.

And bringing this weekend’s recap full circle then, we find our second nationwide release newcomer, The Circle ringing in at spot number 5 this weekend with $9 million dollars. Overall while this film had the premise to bring audiences something eerily familiar to our current technological-centered and monitored world, while still alluding to a far more alarming possible near-future, the film didn’t close the loop and instead brought us unimagined characters and a satire so lacking in innovation that The Circle feels like it’s more from the stone-age of storytelling than the glossy computer-screen age it so tries to warn us against fully buying into.

But despite a weekend so boring that I almost want to shoot myself in the foot just so I have something to talk about, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 premieres this weekend in over 4,000 theatres.

It’s the name to beat this weekend and looks like it’s going to be just as wild a ride as the original Guardians which premiered in August of 2014. Fans and comic book nerds the world over are going to be coming out in droves this weekend to see Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Drax all hitting the big screen again in this summer’s first blockbuster which is sure to set the tone for what I can only hope and pray for is an awesome summer of fantastic movies in theaters.

The film is posed to crack over $150 million opening weekend which would make it the first film of 2017 to surpass the $100 million bench marker opening weekend. I’d put my money on Disney taking home bank after this Sunday given that the film just premiered this past weekend in over 58% of the international markets and cumulatively scored $101.2 million. Whether or not it hits the $150 prediction Guardians is going to be taking the Galaxy on a hilarious, classic rock filled, cosmic trip that is sure to get us all laughing and pumped for all the excitement and energy this summer has in store for us!

-Matthew Miller