'Fate of the Furious' Nabs $100.2M in U.S. For Record $532.5M Global Start
Thanks to an all-time best China launch of $190 million, the eighth installment in the popular franchise surpassed the previous worldwide record 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.
The Fate of the Furious, directed by F. Gary Gray, 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 worldwide opening of all time. Either way, it is assured of scoring the top international launch of all time, surpassing fellow Universal title Jurassic World ($316.7 million).
Furious 8 had the advantage of opening day-and-date in China, where it earned a massive $190 million, the biggest three-day bow in history. Overall, the tentpole debuted at No. 1 in all 63 foreign markets, and it did more business than any previous installment in 32 of those.
In North America, Furious 8 scored the second-biggest launch of the franchise behind Furious 7's $147 million. Furious 7 (2015) 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).
"This franchise is showing no sign of wear and tear," said Universal international distribution chief Duncan Clark. "Fate of the Furious is satisfying audiences on many different levels."
Added Universal domestic distribution president Nick Carpou: "Considering this is the second-highest opening domestically out of eight films speaks to the fact that people continue to be interested in the storyline."
Long heralded for its diverse cast, Furious 8 played to audiences of all ethnicities and nabbed an A CinemaScore. Domestically, Caucasians made up 41 percent of the audience, followed by Hispanics (26 percent), African-Americans (21) percent, Asians (11 percent) and Native American/Other (3 percent), according to comScore's exit polling service PostTrack. The pic skewed male at 58 percent, far more than the last film at 51 percent.
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.
The 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 it 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 and worldwide haul of $287.6 million. (Fox also celebrated Logan passing 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 and $1.043 billion worldwide.
Sony's Smurfs: The Lost Village continued to remain obscured, falling a steep 51 percent in its second weekend to $6.5 million for $24.7 million in North America and $94.7 million globally. New Line and Village Roadshow's Going in Style has grossed almost as much domestically as Smurfs, earning $6.4 million in its second outing for a domestic total of $23.4 million and $35.1 million worldwide.
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.