Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines!
Universal’s highly anticipated The Fate of the Furious — the eighth film in the Fast and Furious franchise — has secured a release date in China, the world’s second-largest box-office territory.
Fast 8 will open in the Middle Kingdom on Friday, April 14, the same day it debuts in North America and several major markets worldwide, including the U.K. and India. A source close to China’s Film Bureau shared the date with THR on Monday.
A spokesperson in Universal Pictures’ Beijing office declined to comment.
So far, Fast 8 has the mid-April frame to itself in China. Paramount’s Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson, will open the week prior on April 7, while Sony’s Smurfs: The Lost Village will debut April 21.
The preceding film in the franchise, Furious 7, became a historic box-office success in China upon its release in 2015. The film, directed by James Wan and the last to co-star the late Paul Walker, set a still unbroken opening-day record of $68.8 million. It went on to become the biggest imported title ever in the Chinese market, earning $390 million — almost $40 million more than the blockbuster pulled in from North America.
The eight installment of the franchise is from director F. Gary Gray and once again stars regulars Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson — whose characters will be squaring off against one another. Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson and Kurt Russell are returning for Fast 8, while Charlize Theron is joining the Furious family in a villain role and Scott Eastwood is also among the cast’s new faces.
Diesel is coming off another major win in the China market. In February, his xXx: Return of Xander Cage scored a $61.9 million opening weekend, the biggest bow by an imported film so far this year. Its China total currently stands at $155.6 million.