The stars were seemingly aligned: the Fast & Furious franchise was one of the most lucrative series in box office history; Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham were bankable international celebrities; cinematic universes were all the rage.
So why didn’t the film earn as much as the other Fast & Furious movies?
The theater run for Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw isn’t officially over yet, but it might as well be. This past weekend the film finished in 27th place at the American box office with $93,635. During its twelfth week on screen, Hobbs & Shaw’s theater count has dipped from 4,253 on opening weekend to just 187. And in foreign markets, the Fast & Furious spin-off is scraping together just under half a million dollars.
Essentially, Hobbs & Shaw’s final box office numbers are all but cemented—and one could argue the results are disappointing.
When we compare Hobbs & Shaw’s lifetime domestic gross with every other Fast & Furious movie, everything might seem OK:
- Furious 7 ($353 million)
- Fast & Furious 6 ($238.7 million)
- The Fate of the Furious ($226 million)
- Fast Five ($209.8 million)
- Hobbs & Shaw ($173.7 million)
- Fast and Furious ($155.1 million)
- The Fast and the Furious ($144.5 million)
- 2 Fast 2 Furious ($127.2 million)
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift ($62.5 million)
But that’s only because we didn’t account for ticket price inflation. In 2019, the average U.S. theater ticket costs $9.01. But back in 2001, when The Fast and the Furious dropped, ticket prices only averaged $5.66.
Here’s the adjusted list:
- Furious 7 ($369.6 million)
- Fast & Furious 6 ($257.2 million)
- Fast Five ($234.6 million)
- The Fast and the Furious ($230.1 million)
- The Fate of the Furious ($227.5 million)
- 2 Fast 2 Furious ($190 million)
- Fast and Furious ($187.3 million)
- Hobbs & Shaw ($175.3 million)
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift ($86 million)
The only film that Hobbs & Shaw finishes ahead of is Tokyo Drift, which is the other “spin-off” of the series. The only difference is that, back in 2003, Tokyo Drift didn’t feature any bankable movie stars—Hobbs & Shaw was riding off the storied success of both Johnson and Statham at the box office.
The same situation arises when we compare each Fast & Furious movie’s worldwide results:
- Furious 7 ($1.516 billion)
- The Fate of the Furious ($1.236 billion)
- Fast & Furious 6 ($788.7 million)
- Hobbs & Shaw ($758.8 million)
- Fast Five ($626.1 million)
- Fast and Furious ($363.2 million)
- 2 Fast 2 Furious ($236.4 million)
- The Fast and the Furious ($207.3 million)
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift ($158.5 million)
Once again: on the surface, there’s nothing to complain about. Hobbs & Shaw didn’t only crack $750 million at the box office, but it became the 97th-highest-grossing film of all time.
But it isn’t really fair to compare Hobbs & Shaw with the early Fast & Furious films. The franchise had not yet gained the notoriety in the early 2000s—that didn’t happen until Fast Five finally nailed down the lucrative Fast & Furious formula that drove moviegoers in hoards to the theater. And given that the worldwide rankings from Box Office Mojo aren’t adjusted for inflation, it could very well be true that Hobbs & Shaw finishes below Fast Five on the global rankings as well.
Hobbs & Shaw wasn’t able to mimic the numbers of the last two Fast & Furious films, both of which earned over $1.2 billion at the box office. In fact, Furious 7 is the ninth-highest-grossing film of all time. The fact that Furious 7 was able to double Hobbs & Shaw’s numbers says quite a bit.
It’s difficult to be too hard on Hobbs & Shaw. The movie is currently in tenth place amongst all movies at the American box office in 2019. But with a budget of $200 million and a billion-dollar franchise backing it up, it might have been reasonable to expect more from the Johnson-Statham vehicle.
Universal was contacted for a response.