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The ninth installment in the Fast and Furious Saga is a much-needed boost for the theatrical experience and a major win for Universal, which decided to delay F9 an entire year early on in the pandemic.
Globally, the ninth installment in the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise has crossed $400 million.
The movie is playing in 4,179 theaters in North America. That’s the widest count for any film opening in recent months as more and more cinemas flip on the lights.
Friday’s tally was $30 million, a single-day record for the pandemic era, includes $7.1 million in previews.
F9 easily surpassed the $60 million domestic launch of 2019 spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, unadjusted for inflation, but couldn’t match the $98.8 million start of The Fate of the Furious in 2017, underscoring that the fragile nature of the box office recovery.
Universal’s all-audience tentpole, followed by Disney and Marvel Studios’ superhero offering Black Widow (July 9), are the most crucial test cases yet for the recovery. One major difference: F9 is an exclusive theatrical release before hitting premium VOD in six weeks or so, while Black Widow will be made available simultaneously in cinemas and on Disney+ Premier Access for $30.
Justin Lin, a franchise staple, directs the ninth installment in the Fast & Furious series. F9 received a B+ CinemaScore and scored high marks on PostTrak exit polls.
The series has always played to an ethnically diverse audience, and F9 is no exception. Latinos made up 37 percent of ticket buyers, followed by Caucasians (35 percent), Blacks (16 percent) and Asian/Native American/Other (12 percent).
F9 had already sped past records internationally, earning $300 million heading into this weekend. It grossed another $38 million this weekend as it expanded into additional markets, raising its foreign tally to $335 and global haul to $405 million.
It did big business in Mexico ($10.7 million) and in the U.K. ($8.3 million), where cinemas are only now recovering in a major way. Both are pandemic-era best openings.
A week ago, the franchise became the fifth-biggest franchise globally with $6.2 billion, surpassing the X-Men series. F9 will continue its international rollout throughout the summer and has many key markets left in which to open (including the U.K. this weekend).
F9 stars returning castmembers Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jordana Brewster and Sung Kang, with Helen Mirren, Kurt Russell and Charlize Theron. The movie also features Cardi B as a new franchise character and a cameo by Reggaeton sensation Ozuna.
Paramount’s horror-thriller A Quiet Place Part II — which likewise is playing only in theaters for an exclusive period — presently holds the record for a pandemic-era opening after grossing $57.1 million over the long Memorial Day weekend, including $47.5 million for the three-day weekend. The film is an unqualified hit, with a current domestic gross of $136.4 million and $248.5 million globally (in North America, it stayed at No. 2 in its fifth weekend with $6.2 million).
Quiet Place II, though, is a modestly budgeted genre pic, not a broad-audience, big-budget offering such as F9.
Other highlights of the weekend: Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway hopped past $100 million globally to finish Sunday at $107.9 million, including $79 million in foreign ticket sales.
Warner Bros.’ The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It cleared $100 million overseas for a global total of $160.6 million.
Pixar’s Luca grew its foreign total to $11.6 million from 12 markets. The animated family film bypassed a major theatrical push in the U.S. and other countries, opting instead for a Disney+ release.
IFC’s specialty pic Werewolves Within rounded out the top 10 in North America, grossing $591,000 from 270 theaters for a 10-day domestic total of $2.3 million.
Debuts the specialty box office included Sony Pictures Classics’ I Carry You With Me, which grossed roughly $20,000 from four locations.
June 25, 12:40 a.m. Updated with revised estimates.
June 26, 8:10 a.m. Updated with revised estimates.
June 27, 8:15 a.m. Updated with revised estimates.
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