Monday, 20 November, 2017

'Fate of the Furious' races to $100.2 million opening

Elaine Woods | 20 April, 2017, 09:46

The movie had been estimated to open at $118 million to $127 million in North America, according to analysts at BoxOfficePro.com and Hollywood Stock Exchange. It seems that life is imitating art, especially when it comes to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, 44, and Vin Diesel, 49. Before Star Wars, the record holder was Jurassic World with $316.7 million. Even if one factors in the astronomical marketing budget, The Fate of the Furious will be raking in close to $1 billion, if not more to turn in a neat profit for the studio.

Comcast Corp.'s (CMCSA) Universal Pictures, one of the production companies of the movie, projected on Sunday that "The Fate of the Furious" would garner up to $532.5 million across the world over the holiday weekend.

The figure makes it the strongest worldwide debut ever - just overtaking the $529m taken by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Furious 7 got a solid $147 million for its opening weekend last 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.

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Rhianna Dhillon, a film critic as well as the host of the BBC's Radio 4 podcast, Seriously, said that the franchise's success is a result of its "universal appeal". The Fast and Furious films have proved to have a uniquely vast global appeal, thanks to its diverse cast and emphasis on high-octane action over nuance (you could watch Fate with the sound off and still understand every second of its plot-but who's really in it for the plot?). Domestically, Caucasians made up 36 percent of the audience, followed by Hispanics (23 percent), African-Americans (23) percent, Asians (13 percent) and Native American/Other (5 percent), according to comScore's exit polling service PostTrack.

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.

Universal has also announced a ninth and tenth installment for 2019 and 2021. "I think some things may be blown out of proportion", he told USA Today.

Elsewhere in the domestic top five, "The Boss Baby" beat Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" to the runner-up spot with $16 million, bringing its three-week total to $116.8 million.

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