The Fast and Furious franchise has long been fighting the good fight that diversity in a cast can be beneficial. Not only in constructing a star power explosion of grit and charisma, but also in appealing to audiences all over the world. But Furious 7 just took it to a whole new level.
This weekend, the seventh installment of Fast and Furious films hit theaters, and Box Office Mojo reports it took in $143.6 million domestic, as well as $240.4 million overseas. Meaning in just one weekend, the movie has already made $384 million worldwide.
Here’s a list of all the ways this is insane, even for a Fast and Furious movie:
1) This weekend Furious 7 made more worldwide than Edge of Tomorrow, Penguins of Madagascar, Gone Girl and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb did their entire runs.
2) It’s the third-highest international debut ever, falling behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
3) Furious 7 made $240 million without Russia, Japan, and China, the last of which is a major market that can make or break a movie’s success (Pacific Rim). But don’t cry for those countries, the Vin Diesel vehicle will be opening in each in the coming weeks.
4) “In a single weekend, Furious 7 has already earned more overseas than the first four Fast movies made in their entire runs.” That’s not chump change. Maybe champ change.
5) Furious 7 beat out Captain America: The Winter Soldier for the highest opening weekend in April. And it did so by $48.6 million. That difference is more than Jupiter Ascending has made domestically.
6) The 7th film has the biggest debut of the franchise yet, making 47% more than Fast & Furious 6 did opening weekend.
7) It’s the ninth highest opening of all time, coming in behind such massive franchise sequels as The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Spider-Man 3, the final Harry Potter, a couple of Hunger Games Movies and the last two Dark Knight films.
8) The success of Furious 7 shows the value of a franchise that appeals to men and women, as the audience was very nearly 50/50. It’s also another example of the strength of the Hispanic demographic, which made up 37% of the film’s domestic audience this weekend. Plus, the flick set debut records in 26 countries, 12 of which are in Latin America.
9) With numbers like this, Furious 7 is expected to join the elite billion dollar club, which contains movies like Avatar, Titanic, Frozen and Jurassic Park.
Hollywood is no doubt looking at this big fat hit for lessons on how to make bank. Star power (hello
Franchise Viagra Dwayne Johnson) certainly has its place. Yet some have argued (like my dear friend at /Film Angie Han), that the inclusive nature of Fast and Furious’s brand of action has been a major factor in its success. THR’s latest findings further supports this, reporting that the audience for Furious 7 was ultimately 75% “non-white.”
Rentrak box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian broke it down:
“The importance of diversity of the ensemble cast in the Fast and Furious franchise has been an integral part of the success of the brand. There is literally someone within the cast that is relatable on some level to nearly every moviegoer around the world, and this has paid big dividends at the box office and also in terms of how casting decisions will be made in the future for these types of large-scale action epics.”
On top of that, Universal’s compelling marketing campaign of “One Last Ride” has been a surprisingly tasteful tribute to the late Paul Walker. No doubt fans of the franchise felt an enhanced urgency to see Furious 7 as a tribute to the “family” we all lost.
So yeah. Expect a Furious 8. And let’s hope Helen Mirren gets her wish and wriggles her sexy self into its plot.
Kristy Puchko did a pretty spot-on Michelle Rodriguez impression in the latest ep of her review podcast Popcorn and Prosecco.