Every so often, the arcane math of calculating box office success coughs up something weird enough to point it out, even if it doesn't mean much.
This weekend, (Fast &) Furious 6 led the charge in a record-breaking Memorial Day weekend, generating a ton of money with other smashes like Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness still performing well behind it in the weekend's top five. The film nearly cracked the $100 million weekend (and did so if you count the four-day holiday weekend, although that's not generally how such things are tracked), bringing in $98.5 million in the U.S. and $275 million worldwide.
That's a substantial boon for theater owners, who gave the film the benefit of the doubt and nearly 4,000 screens to play on. And therein lies the oddball trivia to which we were alluding above.
Richard Linklater's threequel Before Midnight--the Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy follow-up to 1995's Before Sunrise and 2004's Before Sunset--took in only $273,944 this weekend--but it did so from only five theaters, giving it a $54,789 per-screen average. That isn't a record by a long stretch (that distinction goes to Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, which starred Man of Steel's Amy Adams and averaged nearly $150,000 in its first week of limited release) but it is quite impressive--and difficult for a wide-release movie to match. The record-breaking first weekend of Marvel's The Avengers only averaged $47,698.