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Universal’s Furious 7 topped the Friday box office with a massive $67.3 for a projected $150 million domestic debut — the largest opening in North America since fall 2013 and the best April showing of all time.
Friday’s haul is the 10th best of all time, not accounting for inflation, narrowly beating the likes of The Dark Knight and The Hunger Games with $67.2 million each.
Furious 7 — the final film featuring the late Paul Walker — is opening around the globe this weekend and has already earned $120.6 million overseas for a worldwide debut well north of $300 million by the end of Easter Sunday. Through Friday alone, the film’s three-day global total was $197.9 million.
The final film featuring the late Paul Walker, Furious 7 earned $59.2 million from 63 markets Friday for a three-day foreign total of $120.6 million and worldwide haul of $197.9 million, factoring in the $67.3 million earned Friday in North America. The movie looks to gross well north of $300 million globally through Easter Sunday.
The movie is easily ouptacing any previous title in the franchise, including blockbuster Fast and Furious 6, which topped out at $789 million worldwide. If Furious 7 hits $150 million domestically, that’s 54 percent ahead of Fast 6‘s three-day debut, and 28 percent of its four-day debut over Memorial Day weekend in 2013. Few Hollywood franchises have shown this sort of resilience.
Earning an A CinemaScore, Furious 7 is getting the widest release in Universal’s history. Domestically, it is playing in 4,003 theaters. Internationally, it has booked more than 10,500 screens in 63 territories, although it won’t open in China, Japan and Russia until later.
The current record-holder for top April opening domestically is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which debuted to a record $95 million from 3,928 theaters on the same weekend in 2014. Revenue this weekend will be up more than 36 percent year-over-year, and more than 74 percent over the same frame in 2013.
Furious 7 will easily beat the $121.9 million launch of The Hunger Games Mockingjay — Part 1 in November 2014, making it the largest three-day opening since The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($158 million) in November 2013.
Universal intended to open Furious 7 on July 11, 2014, but production was halted in November 2013 when Walker died in a car crash during the Thanksgiving hiatus. After director James Wan, writer Chris Morgan and Universal pored over existing footage and tweaked the script, production resumed in April 2014.
CGI and voice effects were used in some scenes featuring Walker’s detective character, Brian O’Conner, with Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, used as stand-ins.
Furious 7 pits Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto and crew (which includes Michelle Rodriguez and Tyrese Gibson, among others, as well as Walker) against Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw, out for revenge after the death of his brother. Dwayne Johnson also reprises his role as Hobbs.
It goes without saying that Furious 7 is making life difficult for the competition. Holding in best is DreamWorks Animation’s Home, which is is coming in No. 2 in its second weekend with $11.3 million on Friday and an estimated $29 million for the weekend, a 44 percent decline.
The Will Ferrell–Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard is falling a steep 61 percent in its second outing, grossing $5 million for a projected $13.1 million weekend, putting it at No. 3.
Radius-TWC and Dimension took a gamble in further expanding critically acclaimed horror film It Follows this weekend despite the onslaught of Furious 7. The film, upping its theater count from 1,218 to 1,655, grossed $917,000 on Friday for an estimated weekend gross of $2.5 million, a decline of 36 percent and putting it at No. 6.
At the specialty box office, The Woman in Gold, starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds, hopes to provide a refuge for adults not so interested in Furious 7. The movie, opening in 258 theaters in top markets, grossed a solid $613,000 Friday for a weekend gross of $1.8 million and screen average of $6,783, putting it at No. 8 despite its small footprint. The Weinstein Co. is handling the movie in the U.S.
April 3, 11:45 a.m. Updated with foreign numbers.
April 4, 8 a.m. Updated with Friday numbers.
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