One thing was confirmed this weekend: The Fast and the Furious entered the big league of powerhouse franchises in Hollywood.
The next installment in the series, Furious 7, was released this weekend and shattered box office records. It made an incredible $143.6 million domestically, about $240 million internationally, and $384 million worldwide.
This is the best opening weekend for the franchise, the best opening weekend in April of all-time, and the 9th biggest opening weekend of all time. This is huge for a franchise that could have easily been a direct-to-DVD series.
Some critics are calling this the most ridiculous film of the franchise, including Sara Stewart’s review for the New York Post which concludes that the whole movie “goes increasingly wobbly like a bad axle, until it’s just a tangle of metal and bullets and yelling.”
However, its score of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and the majority of positive reviews from critics cement this film as one of the best of the year, which is impressive given the competition coming out later this year.
Undoubtedly one of the reasons this film did so well is because of Paul Walker’s tragic death. Walker was one of the mainstays of the franchise so this film is a fitting tribute to the late actor. You can watch a video tribute from the official Fast and the Furious YouTube account below.
Nicholas Carpou, Universal Pictures’ President of Domestic Distribution, confirms this, saying: “I think Paul was another big reason for people to come to our movie.”
He also comments on the idea that the diverse cast is a big part of the franchise’s success, explaining, “Someone that I admire quite a lot recently said this is a franchise that really looks like America, and there are characters that everyone can relate to.”
It certainly does make a statement about Hollywood culture these days.
Universe Pictures truly starts 2015 with a bang. This film comes after their release of Fifty Shades of Grey which made $566 million worldwide so far. They also have popular films like Pitch Perfect 2, Jurassic World, Ted 2, and Minions coming out later this year.
Have you seen Furious 7 yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!