Thanks to an all-time best China launch of $192 million, the eighth intsallment in the popular franchise blew away the record worldwide launch of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’
Universal’s Fast and the Furious franchise is showing no signs of running out of gas on the world stage.
Fate of the Furious, directed by F. Gray Gary, raced to an estimated $532.5 million global debut over Easter weekend, including $100.2 million domestically and a $432.2 million overseas.
If those estimates hold when final numbers are tallied early Monday, Furious 8 will eclipse Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($529 million) to boast the biggest global opening of all time. And either way, it is assured of boasting the top international launch of all time, surpassing fellow Universal title Jurassic World ($316.7 million).
Furious 8 had the advantage of opening in day and date in China, where it earned a massive $192 million, the biggest three-day opening in history. Overall, the tentpole opened No. 1 in all 63 foreign markets. In 32, it did more business than any previous installment.
In North America, Furious 8 scored the second-biggest opening of the franchise behind Furious 7‘s $147 million. Furious 7 was the final film in the series to star Paul Walker, who died in a tragic car crash in November 2013. Globally, Furious 7 launched to $397.7 million (it didn’t open in China until a week later).
Long heralded for its diverse cast, Furious 8 played to audiences of all ethnicities and nabbed an A CinemaScore. Domestically, Caucasians made up 36 percent of the audience, followed by Hispanics (23 percent), African-Americans (23) percent, Asians (13 percent) and Native American/Other (5 percent), according to comScore’s exit polling service PostTrack. The film skewed male at 58 percent, according to PostTrak.
Gray is making his franchise debut after helming Straight Outta Compton for Universal. Fate of the Furious once again stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell. Newcomers include Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren and Scott Eastwood. The story follows a villainous superhacker (Theron) who turns Diesel’s character against his crew.
Fast and Furious movies have collectively grossed more than $3.9 billion globally. Furious 7 was far and away the biggest earner and the only installment to cross $1 billion on its way to finishing its worldwide run with $1.516 billion.
Fate of the Furious certainly spooked the competition; no other film opened against in nationwide.
At the specialty box office, The Lost City of Z did nicely for Amazon Studios and Bleecker Street, opening to $112,633 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $28,158. The period adventure film, directed by James Gray and produced by Brad Pitt’s Plan B, stars Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson and Sienna Miller.
Another limited offering was the animated film, Spark: A Space Tail, which debuted to a miserable $100,000 from 365 theaters for Open Road and the filmmakers.
Back in the top 10, Fox and DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby placed No. 2 with $15.5 million for a domestic cume of $116.5 million. (Fox also celebrated Logan jumping the $600 million mark globally over the weekend.) Disney’s Beauty and the Beast held at No. 3 with $13.5 million for a domestic total of $454.7 million domestically and $1.043 billion worldwide.
Sony’s Smurfs: The Lost Village continued to get lost, falling a steep 51 percent in its second weekend to $6.5 million for a domestic total of $24.7 million. New Line and Village Roadshow’s Going in Style has grossed almost as much as Smurfs, earning $6.4 million in is second outing for a domestic total of $23.4 million.