Weekend Box Office: ‘Fate Of The Furious’ Is Poised To Break ‘The Force Awakens’ Record

Fate Of the Furious, the eighth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, opened in North America right at $100 million, which is at the low end of expectations for the movie stateside. That hardly matters, however, because where it counts — the global box office — Fate is poised to break the record of biggest opening weekend of all time.

The record for biggest global weekend of all time is currently held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with $529 million. Final, official numbers won’t come in for Fate of the Furious until Monday, but as it stands now, Fate is expected to amass $100 million in the United States and $430.4 million overseas, demolishing the record for biggest international opening of all time, besting Jurassic World by almost $115 million. It would also give it a $530 million global opening, beating The Force Awakens by a narrow $500,000.

Those numbers are eye-popping, especially for the eighth film in a franchise, and against all odds, this franchise seems to get bigger each time out. Worldwide, the first film only mustered $207 million and bottomed out in 2006 with the $158 million global gross of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. It rose incrementally from there on before Furious 7’s $1.5 billion nearly doubled the $788 million global gross of Fast & Furious 6. Furious 7 currently stands as the sixth biggest film of all time worldwide and by opening globally with over $130 million more than its predecessor, Fate of the Furious is on track to at least match the previous installment.

Not bad for a franchise that lost one of the series’ anchors, Paul Walker, to a tragic car accident in 2013. This film knows exactly how to appeal to a worldwide audience with a huge diverse cast and shooting locations all around the globe, including this time out a climactic action sequence in Siberia, appealing to moviegoers in one of the world’s largest box-office markets, Russia.

It also means that a week after Jordan Peele’s Get Out broke F. Gary Gray’s domestic box-office record for the highest grossing film for a black director of all time, previously held by Straight Outta Compton, that F. Gary Gray is poised to take the record back, assuming that Fate of the Furious approaches anything near the $353 million domestic total of Furious 7. Peele is likely to hold that record for less than three weeks, but at least he’ll get to hang on to the record for highest grossing debut by a black director for a little while longer. (Get Out, by the way, held its stop in the top 10 for the eighth week in a row, adding $2.8 million to bring its cumulative total to $167 million.)

Though not as beloved by critics as Furious 7 (Furious reached 79 percent on Rotten Tomatoes compared to the 64 percent of Fate), Fate of the Furious is still being exceptionally well received by audiences. It received an A from Cinemascore, the fourth in a row for the franchise. In America, it’s also has huge appeal across the demographic spectrum. The audience is comprised of 35 percent Caucasian; 23 percent Black; 23 percent Hispanic; and 13 percent Asian.

While it stands to be the biggest global opening weekend ever, it’s domestic opening pales next to the $175 million opening weekend of Beauty and the Beast, which came in at number three this weekend, adding $13.5 million to bring its stateside total to $454 million. It’s still the top film of the year in America, and Fate won’t get close (it’s likely to end its domestic run in the $230 million range).

Boss Baby held on to number two this weekend with $15 million to bring its total to $116 million. After three weeks, Boss Baby still has a clear road ahead of it, as there are no new animated features to compete with it until Captain Underpants in the first week of June. The $6.5 million of Smurfs: The Lost Village in its second week is proving that the Smurfs franchise has very little left in the tank. There was also another animated film that opened this weekend called Spark. It premiered in 300 theaters and made a grand total of only $107,000, good for only $292 per theater, meaning that each screening of Spark was seen by around 3 people. Yikes.

The Zach Braff directed Going in Style, meanwhile, held OK with a 49 percent drop in its second weekend, racking up another $6 million to bring its total to around $23 million after 10 days. With a $25 million price tag. Braff’s third feature film may earn an actual profit and it will pass Garden State’s $26 million to become Braff’s most successful outing as a director, for whatever that is worth.

There are a couple of notes in the specialty market, as well. The outstanding Anna Hathaway sci-fi anti-romcom Colossal expanded into 100 theaters and will add close to $500,000 this weekend, as it continues to expand across the country. Meanwhile, Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson’s The Lost City of Z made an OK $112,000 in four theaters this weekend.

Next week will see the wide release of five more movies, none of which are expected to compete with Fate of the Furious. Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire will take on Disney’s panda documentary Born in China, the horror film Phoenix Forgotten, Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac’s The Promise, and Unforgettable starring Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigl.

(Via Deadline, Forbes, Box Office Mojo)