Film industry anxiously awaits weekend results of "Fast Five"
The film industry was one of the few sectors to experience growth during the recession . As the economy has improved, however, movie going attendance has plummeted with ticket sales down 17 percent compared to 2010. This weekend, Hollywood hopes to reverse its slide with the release of "Fast Five."
"Fast Five" marks the first big- budget studio movie event of the lucrative summer movie season. The film, which serves as the fifth installment in the popular "Fast and Furious" franchise, is projected to debut in the top spot - though industry watchers debate how high receipts will tally when all is said and done on Sunday.
Attendance at movie theaters is down 18 percent from the same point last year, and movie studios are itching for a hit to kick start the summer. Nikki Rocco, the president of domestic distribution for the film's distributor, Universal Pictures, told the Los Angeles Times she hoped the film would shift movie going habits.
"My deepest hope is that this is the first movie in a summer that can turn around all the negativity that's been out there about the box office," Rocco said. Box office analysts project the film to open anywhere from $60 million to $80 million; the last installment of the $1 billion franchise, 2009's "Fast & Furious," debuted to $71 million.
The biggest opening weekend so far this year for a major U.S. film was set the weekend of April 15 by " Rio ," which debuted to $39.2 million.