×

‘Fate of the Furious’ Torches Global Box Office Records With $532.5 Million Opening

Universal’s “The Fate of the Furious” smashed global box office records, earning an estimated $532.5 million worldwide to set a new high-water mark for an opening weekend.

The long-running series, now in its eighth installment, got a big boost from foreign crowds. The action thriller earned $432.3 million internationally after bowing in 63 foreign markets. That helped offset declining domestic results. “The Fate of the Furious” opened to $100.2 million in North America, a sharp drop from “Furious 7’s” $147.2 million kick-off.

It’s a sign that a franchise built around muscle cars and odes to the importance of family is growing more global in scope. If it wants to continue to expand its audience as it inevitably ticks through future sequels, it will need to keep building a fan base in places like China. To that end, the Middle Kingdom turbocharged results. “The Fate of the Furious” racked up a massive $190 million in the Asian country, setting records for the biggest three-day opening weekend in history and the top debut for a Hollywood film in China. “Furious 7” ended its run with $390 million from China — a figure that “The Fate of the Furious” could match.

Popular on Variety

“I’m extrapolating, but based on the reviews and the buzz we’re getting from theaters, I think we can eclipse that,” said Duncan Clark, president of Universal Pictures International.

It is worth noting, however, that Hollywood studios only take in 25% of Chinese ticket sales, roughly half of what they earn in most major markets. Still, the film business is breathing a sigh of relief after the results were released. Ticket sales in China have stalled in recent months after a period of seismic growth. Part of the issue has been a strengthening U.S. dollar, but aside from last year’s “Warcraft” and “Zootopia,” it has been months since Chinese crowds have embraced a big studio blockbuster.

“This is the jolt everybody needed,” said Greg Foster, CEO of Imax Entertainment. “It proves that if you provide some revved up entertainment for the [Chinese] market, they’ll turn up.”

“The Fate of the Furious” also performed solidly in Mexico, where it earned $17.8 million, the United Kingdom and Ireland with $17 million, Russia with $14.1 million, Germany with $13.6 million, and Brazil with $12.8 million. The film did well in premium formats, with Imax accounting for $31.1 million worth of revenue, the company’s fourth-biggest global opening.

“This is truly a global franchise,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at ComScore. “These movies translate perfectly into any culture. Fast cars, outrageous stunts — that’s the international language for something everybody loves.”

Of course, “The Fate of the Furious” can’t just be a hit. It has to be a blockbuster. All that vehicular destruction cost $250 million to put on screen. The latest installment brings back Vin Diesel as Dom Toretto, he of the monosyllable and tight-fitting t-shirts, and has the character betray his band of brothers and sisters in the service of a cyber terrorist (Charlize Theron). Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, and Kurt Russell help to round out the cast, with “Straight Outta Compton” director F. Gary Gray sliding behind the camera.

With “The Fate of the Furious,” the “Fast and the Furious” films have now earned $4.4 billion worldwide, making it easily the most successful franchise in Universal’s history and the eighth highest-grossing film series in history.

More Film

  • (center) George MacKay as Schofield in

    '1917,' 'Succession' Among Top PGA Award Winners

    “1917” continued its string of major awards season wins on Saturday night, earning the Producers Guild of America award for best picture. Coupled with its win for best picture, drama at the Golden Globes, the WWI movie is officially the front runner for Oscar’s top prize. “It’s a film that is a tribute to all [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho, Jane Rosenthal, David

    Netflix Praised by 'The Irishman,' 'Marriage Story' Filmmakers at Producers Guild Panel

    Streaming giant Netflix received strong support from filmmakers behind “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story” at the Producers Guild of America’s nominees panel on Saturday at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Jane Rosenthal, one of “The Irishman” producers, said Netflix embraced the vision that she and Martin Scorsese had for the $170 million film. [...]

  • Gabriel Harel on MyFFF ‘The Night

    Gabriel Harel Discusses Dystopic Parable ‘The Night of the Plastic Bags’

    With his first short film, the animated “Yùl and the Snake,” Gabriel Harel won Europe’s Cartoon d’Or for the continent’s best animated short film, given at the 2016 Cartoon Forum in Toulouse. Now, Harel’s awaited sophomore effort, the animated “The Night of the Plastic Bags,” competes at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, and is available on a swathe [...]

  • MyFrenchFilmFestival: Profiling Benjamin Crotty’s Short ‘Nicolas

    ‘The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin’: Nationalism Wrapped in Charisma

    Winner of Locarno’s Signs of Life section, Benjamin Crotty’s “The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin” has enjoyed more than 12 months of festival success and critical acclaim as it reaches the end of its festival run at UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival. A modern take on one of France’s most influential yet widely unknown characters, the film headlines [...]

  • Alexander Ludwig

    Alexander Ludwig on Sharing his Recovery Journey, Playing the 'Bad Boys' Tech Guy

    With his towering height and stature, Alexander Ludwig looks every bit the action star, first appearing as Cato in “The Hunger Games,” and more recently as fierce Norse Viking chief Bjorn Ironside on History Channel’s “Vikings” and in “Bad Boys for Life,” the third installment of the “Bad Boys” franchise, with Will Smith and Martin [...]

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Scores Big With $66 Million Launch

    “Bad Boys for Life” is showing plenty of power at the North American box office with an impressive  launch of around $66 million at 3,740 venues over the four-day holiday weekend. Sony’s sequel to 1995’s “Bad Boys” and 2003’s “Bad Boys II” far exceeded the studio’s pre-release forecasts of a $38 million weekend. The film, [...]

  • A Bump Along the Way Movie

    'A Bump Along the Way': Film Review

    While “Derry Girls” continues to be the last word in young, raucous female rebellion on the Emerald Isle, “A Bump Along the Way” has a little something to add. Sin the same Northern Irish city as the hit Netflix sitcom, but shedding the ’90s nostalgia for the Snapchat age, Shelly Love’s appealing, unassuming debut feature [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content