- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
The latest installment in the Fast & Furious installment also debuted in South Korea, Russia, Hong Kong, Russia and the Middle East, all markets where moviegoing has rebounded from the COVID-19 crisis. F9‘s ticket sales were as strong as pre-pandemic times, and marked Universal’s best start in China behind the last Fast film. It is also the biggest showing in the pandemic-era for a Hollywood title.
“It shows us that audiences are willing to come back when the right movie is available,” says Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, Universal’s president of international distribution.
With this weekend’s showing, the high-octane franchise has now collected more than $6 billion in global ticket sales. The series has always been an international sensation — including in China — where F9 is the first Hollywood movie to open to north of $100 million since Avengers: Endgame more than two years ago.
The China campaign for F9 included custom content and activations in three key cities, Wenzhou, Wuhan and Chongqing, along with high-profile, out-of-home tactics and a large scale presence at The Strawberry Festival, the most influential music festival in China.
F9 opted for a staggered rollout across the globe to allow for theaters to regain their footing in other markets. It debuts in the U.S. — where cinemas continue to flip on the lights and grapple with capacity restrictions — on June 25.
Warner Bros. and Legendary’s Godzilla vs. Kong, now in is fifth weekend, has also done well, but faced more constraints. Also, the monster mashup debuted simultaneously on HBO Max, while F9 is getting an exclusive theatrical release. (In like for like markets, F9 doubled Godzilla’s opening.)
Imax contributed a mega-$14 million, which is the company’s second biggest May opening ever despite opening in far fewer markets than current record holder, Captain America: Civil War. It is Universal’s third biggest Imax international opening weekend ever behind Jurassic World and F8.
F9 is among numerous 2020 event pics that were delayed by the pandemic.
Directed by Justin Lin from a script he co-wrote with Daniel Casey, F9 is a sequel to the 2017 The Fate of the Furious. Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Michael Rooker, Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron star.
In North America, Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures’ Saw franchise entry Spiral led a subdued weekend, earning $4.6 million for a 10-day domestic total of $15.8 million and global total north of $22.5 million. The spinoff, inspired by an idea from star Chris Rock, has helped the series cross the $1 billion mark globally.
The domestic box office is expected to pick up in earnest over Memorial Day weekend with tentpoles Cruella and A Quiet Place Part II.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day