'Fast & Furious' revs up with $30 million

First-day haul marks record for Universal film franchise

'Fast & Furious' review
'Adventureland' review

If the Obama administration wants to save Detroit, it might consider hiring the crew behind "Fast & Furious," which roared off the showroom floor Friday with an estimated $30.3 million opening-day gross in 3,462 North American theaters.

That turbo-charged number, which exceeded even the most optimistic of expectations, was the biggest opening day for any of the four installments in the Universal Pictures franchise.

It nearly doubled the $15.2 million opening day of the first film in the series, 2001's "The Fast and the Furious," and came in well above the $19.7 million first-day gross of 2003's "2 Fast 2 Furious."

As a result, the newest edition of the PG-13-rated "Fast," which reteams the original movies quartet of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster under the direction of Justin Lin, is on track to notch the biggest opening of the year to date as it flirts with the $70 million mark.

"Adventureland" -- the R-rated coming-of-age tale from Miramax and director Greg Mottola, the weekend's other new wide release -- was left far back in the pack. Picking up about $2.2 million from 1,862 theaters, it ranked sixth for the day.

As it entered its second weekend, DreamWorks Animation's 3-D toon "Monsters vs. Aliens," last weekend's No. 1 maintained momentum. Falling a little more than 50% from its opening Friday, it attracted an estimated $8.8 million

Rounding out the top five, Lionsgate's horror tale "The Haunting in Connecticut" placed third with $3.7 milion.

Paramount/DreamWorks' bromantic comedy "I Love You, Man," in its third weekend, hung on to fourth place with an estimated $2.726 million.

And Summit's sci-fi actioner "Knowing" was right on its heels in fifth with about $2.723 million.