“The Fate of the Furious” is motoring to an impressive $103.8 million opening weekend at 4,310 North American locations, Saturday estimates showed.
Universal’s tentpole sped to an opening day of $45.6 million on Friday — including $10.4 million during Thursday night preview screenings. The studio’s Easter weekend domestic launch of “The Fate of the Furious” was the widest opening ever for a non-summer release.
The initial performance was in line with expectations. “The Fate of the Furious” had been expected to gross at least $100 million for the Easter weekend, which would make it the second-highest launch in “Fast” franchise history.
“The Fate of the Furious,” starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Statham, and Charlize Theron, centers on Diesel’s Dom Toretto character turning his back on his family and joining forces with Theron’s icy villain. The film, directed by F. Gary Gray, is replete with over-the-top action and stunts, including a chase scene with a Russian submarine in Siberia.
“Fate” is being released in 63 territories, along with the U.S. and Canada. Sources estimate that the film carries a $250 million budget. It’s headed for $534 million worldwide, led by China.
As expected, “The Fate of the Furious” trails “Furious 7” — the final film in the franchise to star Paul Walker, who died in a 2013 car crash. “Furious 7” opened with $147 million domestically for the 16th best North American launch weekend of all time.
Should Saturday’s estimate hold, the domestic launch for “The Fate of the Furious” is the 38th largest of all time, trailing Illumination-Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets” at $104.4 million.
Fox’s third weekend of animated comedy “The Boss Baby” was heading for a second-place finish with $15.9 million at 3,743 sites, lifting the surprise hit to $116.7 million. “The Boss Baby” won the two previous weekends over Disney’s blockbuster “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson.
“Beauty and the Beast” was a close third with $13.4 million at 3,592 venues. The live-action version of Disney’s 1991 animated movie should finish the weekend with a total of $454.4 million in domestic box office — making it the 12th largest domestic grosser of all time behind Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” at $459 million.