Making their debut this weekend during the packed Easter scheduling, The Fate of the Furious has dominated all before them. Not only has it left the likes of Kong: Skull Island, Beauty and the Beast, Life and Ghost in the Shell eating its dust, but the blockbuster has muscled out the 2015 record holder Star Wars: The Force Awakens for an opening at the theaters.
Despite the tragedy that followed franchise regular Paul Walker's passing in 2013, the series has recovered to power forward with a fresh standalone installment from director F. Gary Gray that delivers all the goodies. Led by feuding on and off screen duo Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson alongside Jason Statham, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and Kurt Russell, no movie in cinematic history can lay claim to what this 2017 picture has just achieved.
The Furious Awakens To Steal Star Wars Limelight
In 2015, nostalgia reigned supreme as the hotly anticipated sequel that brought back a lot of familiar faces burst out the gates to make Disney $529m for a global opening weekend. Fast forward a little less than 18 months later and The Fate of the Furious has rocketed past that figure to secure a staggering $532.5m.
Universal would have been banking on a successful stint on the big screen having invested $250m in a picture that showcases some of the biggest names in the business. But even this is surely beyond their expectations, leaving The Boss Baby ($15.5m), Smurfs: The Lost Village ($6.5m) and Beauty and the Beast ($13.6m) to fight over the remaining scraps.
Set Pieces and Star Power The Signature of Furious Fun
Back in 2001, The Fast and the Furious was all about an undercover LAPD officer Brian O'Connor (Walker) infiltrating a team that embarked in the race wars. Now the franchise is on the verge of seeing one of their movies top the $1b mark, an enviable position to be in.
As the synopsis for The Fate of the Furious details, new players and new settings are keeping the story from becoming stale.
"Now that Dom and Letty are on their honeymoon and Brian and Mia have retired from the game and the rest of the crew has been exonerated the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman (Charlize Theron) seduces Dom into the world of crime he can't seem to escape and a betrayal of those closest to him, they will face trials that will test them as never before. From the shores of Cuba and the streets of New York City to the icy plains off the arctic Barents Sea, our elite force will crisscross the globe to stop an anarchist from unleashing chaos on the world's stage...and to bring home the man who made them a family."