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‘Fate of the Furious’ Speeds to Record-Breaking $65 Million Opening Day in China

Will “The Fate of the Furious” have a bigger opening weekend in North America, or in China? The race is likely to be tight.

“Furious 8” accumulated an unprecedented $65.6 million (RMB453 million) in China by the end of Friday. Known locally as “The Fast and The Furious 8,” the film broke at least two all-time China box office records on its opening run.

The movie earned $10.4 million during preview screenings in North America, putting the U.S. take narrowly ahead of the Middle Kingdom’s gross of $8.24 million. But the getaway was nothing short of spectacular in China, where the movie is released by state-owned distributors China Film Group Corporation and Huaxia Film Distribution.

In midnight screenings between Thursday and Friday, the actioner earned RMB56.5 million, overtaking the RMB52.5 million previews record achieved by “Furious 7” in 2015. Due to the weakening of the Chinese currency against the U.S. dollar in the two intervening years, that figure appears as a lower $8.24 million, compared with $8.5 million for the previous franchise installment.

Currency movements could not stop “Furious 8” driving off with China’s single day box office record. Between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., “Furious 8” overtook the RMB356 million local currency record previously held by this year’s Chinese New Year chart topper, “Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back.” By 11 p.m., “Furious 8” was close to becoming the first movie ever to score RMB400 million in a single day, having notched $57.1 million (RMB394 million.)

That also put it ahead of “Furious 7” with its RMB345 million reported at 2015 rates of exchange as $55.5 million.

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