Take a victory lap, “Furious 7,” you’ve earned it. The latest sequel in “The Fast and the Furious” set has broken its franchise’s previous opening weekend box office numbers and surpassed records of previous films opening in April, released pre-summer or on Easter weekend. Over the weekend, it was clear “Furious 7” would exceed box office predictions of a mere $115 million. This is Universal Studio’s largest international box office take with a reported $384 million total in ticket receipts worldwide.
“Furious 7” enjoyed an opening box office tally that was 48 per cent bigger than the previous entry, “Fast & Furious 6” reported Deadline. The 2013 model of the popular car movie series opened to $97 million, and took a total of $238.7 million in stateside theaters for an astounding overall box office cumulative total of $787.7 million. The domestic take for “Furious 7” clocked in at $143 million by Sunday, which was more than the total domestic take for “2 Fast and 2 Furious” in 2003 and “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” in 2006.
Now on the fast track to break more records, the latest “Furious” movie is just a few million shy of surpassing the lowest-grossing sequel in the series, “Tokyo Drift,” at $158.5 million. This also gave “Furious 7” the most lucrative Easter weekend in cinema history, and the first movie since 2013’s “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” to beat the $200 million worldwide mark in its opening weekend. The film scored well with both sexes, and indicated broad appeal with only 44 percent of the audience identifying as 25 years-old and under. About 37 percent of attendees identified as Latino, 25 percent as Caucasian and 24 percent African American.
The continuing car saga starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez faced a terrible roadblock with the untimely death of one of its leads, Walker. Using CGI and Walker’s younger brothers, Cody and Caleb, the production resumed with an altered release date from a July 2014 tent pole date to April 3. Fans came out in the millions to see Paul Walker’s last ride, and Diesel has hinted that the series will continue -- next time in New York.
Universal Studio is enjoying quite the successful year thus far with “Furious 7” and “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The kinky drama opened over Valentine’s Day weekend to major fanfare. “Fifty Shades” just crossed the $400 million mark internationally this weekend, which translates to a worldwide total of $566 million. That’s a lot of good news for a studio facing Disney’s potential box office juggernauts, “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” in May and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” later this year.