“Furious 7” erupted with a record-breaking $146.5 million domestic debut and a $391.6 million global bow, creating an even bigger splash than initial estimates suggested it would make.
Universal Pictures, the studio behind the fast cars and crazy stunts franchise, projected Sunday that the sequel would pull in $143.6 million Stateside. However, Easter Sunday results were stronger than expected. The studio thought that “Furious 7” would bring in $30 million on the holiday, but moviegoers turned out in force, resulting in $32.9 million in receipts. The film hauled in $67.2 million on Friday and $46.3 million on Saturday.
Overseas numbers were also higher than expected. “Furious 7” made an estimated $245 million abroad, improving on the $240.4 million foreign results that Universal reported on Sunday.
“Furious 7” had the ninth biggest domestic debut in history and the fourth biggest global opening in history behind two “Harry Potter” films and “The Avengers.” It also ranks as the biggest April domestic debut, easily outranking “Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s” $95 million bow.
It’s not unusual for a picture’s final numbers to deviate from Sunday estimates — however, studios tend to be more optimistic about where they will end up, so it is rare for a film to out-gross projections by nearly $3 million.
Production on “Furious 7” was nearly derailed by offscreen tragedy after star Paul Walker died in 2013 in a car crash at the age of 40. His death helped drive interest in the film, with many fans flocking to theaters to see how the series would bid goodbye to his character.