July 4th weekends of the past have seen far more explosive fireworks at the box office. Nevertheless, as another positive marker in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021’s mid-summer holiday weekend was an encouraging one.
Without a new major tentpole to contend with, F9: The Fast Saga remained #1 for the second week in a row, taking in $22.8 million through Sunday and $30.1 mill through Monday. That brings its domestic cume to $123.2 million, the second-best haul of the pandemic era. Still holding onto first place is A Quiet Place Part II at $145.8 million. The horror-thriller sequel was 6th for the holiday frame with $5.2 million.
Worldwide, F9 continues to dominate on a level that looks almost pre-pandemic. By Monday, it will have grossed $500 million globally, and likely still has a lot of gas left in the tank. It should continue to fare well even as Marvel’s Black Widow finally hits screens everywhere this Friday, July 9th.
Universal, the studio behind F9, also boasted wins in the #2 and #3 slots at the North American box office. The Boss Baby: Family Business, the animated sequel, and The Forever Purge, the latest in the gory horror franchise, opened to over $16 million and $12.5 million, respectively.
The Boss Baby 2 didn’t come close to equaling the original’s 2017 debut of $50 million, but given these pandemic times (in which about 20% of theaters remain closed) and the fact that The Boss Baby 2 is simultaneously available on streamer Peacock, the $16 million take is probably a net positive for Universal’s broad corporate goals.
The big test for this coming weekend: can Black Widow, which will also be available for a $30 Premier Access fee on streamer Disney Plus, beat F9‘s pandemic era opening record of $70 million — or possibly be the first post-pandemic blockbuster to premiere at $100 million or more?
That triple-digit debut is a long shot, but if Scarlett Johannson‘s overdue solo MCU entry can cross that barrier, studios and theaters will feel more bullish than ever.