“Furious 7” is speeding past records at the box office this Easter weekend.
The sequel from Universal raced to $67.3 million on Friday in 4,004 U.S. locations as it gears up for a record-breaking opening weekend of $149.5 million.
The sizable figure trumps estimates that had pegged the debut at $115 million, which was bumped up throughout the day on Friday.
The film, starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and the late Paul Walker, is on course to become the ninth highest-grossing U.S. opener of all time, stealing the slot from “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” which launched to $142.8 million in November of 2009. It trails “Spider-Man 3,” which debuted to $151.1 million in May 2007.
“Furious 7” will easily overtake Marvel-Disney’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” as April’s highest grossing opener of all time. “Winter Soldier” launched to $95 million on the same weekend last year. “Furious 7” will also become the biggest opening of 2015 — a title that another Universal film, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” currently holds after opening to $85 million on Valentine’s Day weekend.
The movie is set to become the franchise’s biggest opening of all time. “Fast and Furious 6,” which debuted to $97 million two years ago (on its way to $238 million at the domestic box office) is the current record-holder. The franchise has already generated $2.4 billion worldwide with the first six movies since launching in 2001.
Michelle Rodriguez, Jordanna Brewster, Tyrese Gibson and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges reprise their roles in the current installment.
The pic is also taking off overseas, where it opened No. 1 in 20 new territories on Friday, bringing its total market count to 64 (with the U.S. and Canada). It earned $59.2 million for an early total of $120.6 million — Universal’s top international Friday of all time.
This also marks Universal’s biggest opening day of all time in 40 territories, including Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, and the U.K. and Ireland.
“Furious 7” has already passed the international cumes of “The Fast and the Furious” ($62.9M), “2 Fast 2 Furious” ($109 million) and “The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift” ($96 million).
Holdovers comprised the top five at the domestic box office as other studios held off on launching major releases this weekend.
Last weekend’s No. 1 film, “Home,” was runner-up with $11.3 million. Released by Fox, the DreamWorks animated comedy should earn about $28 million this weekend (down 46%), raising it cume to $96 million.
Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart’s R-rated comedy “Get Hard,” which is competing for the same audience that’s flocking to see “Furious 7,” made $5 million in its second frame. It’s eyeing $13.4 million this weekend — a 60% decline.
Disney’s fourth frame of “Cinderella” came in fourth on Friday with $4.1 million, setting its sights on $11.3 million by Sunday.
“The Divergent Series: Insurgent” rounds out the top five with an estimated $4 million on its third weekend. Lionsgate’s sci-fi actioner should reel in just above $10 million.