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'Fast and the Furious' on road to record global debut

18 April 2017

For all its strong showing, the manic muscle-car-filled film earned almost a third less in its first North American weekend than the previous Fast and Furious chapter, which drew US$147.2 million. "Fate of the Furious is satisfying audiences on many different levels".

With the latest release, "Fast and Furious" films have collectively grossed more than 3.9 billion US dollars globally. Walt Disney Co.'s DISN, -3.18% "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" opened to $529 million in December and the "Fate" number may be adjusted slightly when final Sunday grosses are calculated. "Furious 7" served as a memorial of sorts to Paul Walker, the franchise star whose 2013 death in a vehicle accident shattered his co-stars and many fans.

With a domestic take of just over $100 million, Universal Pictures estimates "The Fate of the Furious" will end its opening weekend with a worldwide box office of $532.5 million, which would best previous record-holders "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" and "Jurassic World" as the film with the all-time biggest opening weekend worldwide, reports Associated Press. "The Fate of the Furious" continues the franchise without Walker, adding in series newcomers such as Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren.

"The Fate of the Furious", starring Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, also broke an worldwide box office record previously held by "Jurassic World", bringing in a whopping $432.3 million overseas.

The studio has not released an official production budget, but it is reported to be in the pricey $250 million range.

"Beauty and the Beast" crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide this weekend.

Sony's "Smurfs: The Lost Village" came in fourth with $6.5 million, pushing the animated film's North American total to an anemic $24.7 million. The Warner Bros. comedy, starring Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin and Michael Caine as aging bank robbers, had weekend sales of $6.3 million.

Most studios steered clear of "The Fate of the Furious", but there were a few courageous newcomers opening in limited release.