In 2001 Universal Pictures released an action crime film involving street racing and carjacking called “The Fast and the Furious”, starring Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker. As with some films of this genre, despite lukewarm reviews from critics the movie became a box office hit, paving the way for the development of a film series. Not even the absence of either one or two of the lead stars in the second and third sequels and the death of Walker during production of the seventh have slowed the storm of installments for the high-octane cinematic franchise. Demand and audience reaction have always favored the “Fast” series, and the premiere of the eighth sequel, “Fate of the Furious”, reinforces this further.
CNN reports that “Fast 8” managed to score a first weekend box-office opening worth an estimated $532.5 million in theaters over the world. For all intents and purposes according to Universal Pictures, the movie has just achieved the biggest global box office opening in history. In doing so it unseated the former record-holder, “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” from Disney and Lucasfilm in 2015, with a $529 million first weekend.
Granted however, that “Fast 8/Fate” opened this April in 63 countries including the movie-watching juggernaut China; this is in comparison to “The Force Awakens” which would not be seen in Chinese cinemas until a month after premiering most everywhere else. In addition, “Fate” also reigned supreme as the new largest international (not including North America) box office opening weekend ever with $432.3 million, surpassing 2015’s “Jurassic World” – a fellow Universal major franchise – with its $316 (by a solid over $100 million). That leaves $100.2 million out of the domestic first weekend for “Fast 8”. A more precise count will be given sometime during Monday April 17, but it will no longer change the fact that this film is the record champ.
With regards to its China premiere, there’s word that “Fate” has also cemented its rep as an unbeatable crowd-pleasing blockbuster, with a reported biggest all-time 3-day opening for the current second largest movie market in the world.
For a film series focusing mostly on action the “Fast” franchise, which chronicles the criminal, mercenary, and deniable-asset capers of the Toretto “family” of street racers and vehicle thieves as well as their rivals-turned-allies from both law enforcement and national government agencies, seen mostly from the viewpoints of racer-carjacker Dom (Diesel) and gray-shades cop Brian O’Conner (Walker). The eighth installment is directed by F. Gary Gray, and depicts Dom being coerced by a sociopathic anarchist and cyber-terrorist (played by Charlize Theron). Universal has also announced tentative release dates for the ninth and tenth sequels in 2019 and 2021.
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