The Fate of the Furious makes box office history with world record opening takings
The eight edition of the muscle-car action franchise, starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Michelle Rodriguez takes US$190 million in China, the country’s biggest ever debut, adding to huge overseas ticket sales
Universal’s Fast & Furious 8, also known as The Fate of the Furious, fell just short of US$100 million in domestic receipts for its debut weekend but smashed the global opening record, industry data showed on Monday.
The eighth instalment of the high-octane action series starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriquez and Jason Statham took US$98.8 million in North America, according to industry monitor Exhibitor Relations.
It was a sharp drop from the US$147.2 million debut of Furious 7 in 2015 but strong performance overseas meant it was able to smash the Jurassic World record international opening of US$316.7, with a massive US$432.3 million from 63 international markets.
That included US$190 million in China – the biggest ever debut for any film in the world’s second largest economy – bringing its total global opening to US$532 million and breaking the previous record of US$529 million held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015.
“It’s a sign that a franchise built around muscle cars and odes to the importance of family is growing more global in scope,” wrote Brett Lang, senior film and media editor for trade magazine Variety.
“If it wants to continue to expand its audience as it inevitably ticks through future sequels, it will need to keep building a fan base in places like China.”
The Fast and Furious franchise, which added Charlize Theron for the latest instalment, has now amassed US$4.4 billion worldwide for its eight movies.
Elsewhere in the domestic top five in the US, The Boss Baby beat Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to the runner-up spot with US$16 million, bringing its three-week total to US$116.8 million. Alec Baldwin voices the chief baby in the DreamWorks production, distributed by Fox.
Beauty earned another US$13.7 million to bring its five-week domestic take to US$454.7 million but, as with Fast 8, the Disney fairy tale starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens is doing its biggest business abroad.
A US$22 million take from foreign markets brought its global total to just over US$1 billion, making it the 22nd largest worldwide release of all time.
Fourth place went to Sony’s Smurfs: The Lost Village which added just US$6.7 million to its disappointing US$13.2 million opening weekend, described by the Hollywood Reporter as “one of the worst starts in recent memory for an animated offering from a major Hollywood studio.”
Going in Style, a Warner Bros comedy starring Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine as octogenarian bank robbers, placed fifth in its second weekend, taking in US$6.3 million for a domestic total of US$23.3 million, which almost covers its production budget.