For FAST X, it’s a case of diminishing results from the FAST & FURIOUS franchise, particularly in the Domestic market where FAST X’S opening weekend came in lower than the most recent F9: THE FAST SAGA which arrived in 2021 as one of the first wide theatrical releases after the pandemic shutdowns had lifted. At the time, it was widely assumed that F9’s box office was held back by lingering COVID concerns.
After grossing less than F9 in a much more favorable market, it now seems clear that FAST X may mark the beginning of a steady decline for the 22-year-old car chase series. On the other hand, FAST X has seen better returns from international markets, which may still give the film a chance to reach profitability, despite an eye-popping $330M production budget. This is largely in line with the franchise’s trend, which has often had 75%+ of its grosses come internationally.
Disney’s live-action remake of THE LITTLE MERMAID is experiencing the inverse, having performed well in the US and Canada while interest from international audiences has been muted. As one example, returns from China have been noticeably absent, where MERMAID grossed a mere $2.5M in its opening weekend compared with $18.5M for the opening weekend of the live-action remake of ALADDIN in 2019.
In fact, MERMAID is likely to earn less than $10M in its Chinese run, whereas ALADDIN ended up with more than $50M in the territory. Many have pointed to MERMAID’s relatively little-known star Halle Bailey as being one reason for low interest in the film. These uneven results for both films demonstrate the importance of a big-budget blockbuster doing well in all markets.