LOS ANGELES — The eighth installment in the “Fast and the Furious” is on the path to becoming the biggest worldwide debut of all time, besting both “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Jurassic World.”
Universal Pictures on Sunday estimated that “The Fate of the Furious” would earn a record $532.5 million worldwide over the holiday weekend, thanks to a particularly robust showing in 63 territories, including China.
If the figures hold, it will just inch past the previous record holder, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” which launched to $529 million in December of 2015 without China.
The film broke the record for biggest international weekend ever, with $432.3 million. The previous record holder was “Jurassic World” with $316.7 million.
“There is no market that hasn’t had a strong reception,” said Duncan Clark, Universal’s president of international distribution. “Whatever culture, whatever language, whatever country, we seem to have found a home.”
The China opening alone brought in a record $190 million followed by $17.8 million from Mexico and $17 million from the U.K. and Ireland.
An estimated $100.2 million of the global total comes from 4,310 North American theaters – a second best for the franchise and enough to easily top the domestic charts, but well below the $147.2 million opening of “Furious 7” in 2015.
“Furious 7” had a groundswell of additional interest due to the death of actor Paul Walker, who played cop turned street racer Brian O’Conner, a lead character in six of the films. He died in a car crash while the film was still in production.
For the studio, “Fast 8” stands on its own as being “an extraordinary result.”
“Each one of these films has its own momentum,” said Nick Carpou, Universal’s president of domestic distribution. “There are factors from one film to the next that make them unique and certainly there were unique factors with ‘Furious 7.”‘
“The Fate of the Furious” has many of the returning stars, but has added some new elements behind the camera in director F. Gary Gray and in front of the camera with Charlize Theron.
– Associated Press