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Fast & Furious 8 races to $100.2 million US opening and sets global record

Fast & Furious 8

Story by Jack Foley

FAST & Furious 8 has raced to the top of the US box office with a $100.2 million opening on its way to setting a new record global record of $532.5 million.

The eighth film in the long-running Universal franchise shows no sign of running out of gas just yet, with the world-wide figure set to eclipse Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($529 million) if the figure is confirmed on Monday.

Helping the film achieve that success considerably was the opening weekend in China, where it clocked up a massive $190 million, the biggest three-day bow in history. But it also opened in top spot in 63 other countries, including the UK.

In the US, Furious 8 landed the second-biggest launch of the franchise behind Fast & Furious 7, which earned $147 million ion 2015. But the seventh instalment was the final film in the series to star Paul Walker, who died in a tragic car crash in November 2013.

Globally, Furious 7 launched to $397.7 million – but didn’t open in China until a week later.

Commenting on the figures for Furious 8, Universal domestic distribution president Nick Carpou said: “Considering this is the second-highest opening of eight films speaks to the fact that people continue to be interested in the storyline.”

Fast & Furious 8 finds F Gary Gray, of Straight Outta Compton fame, making his debut as director, with Charlize Theron also making her first appearance as the film’s main villain. Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell all return.

The story follows a villainous superhacker (Theron) who turns Diesel’s character against his crew.

Collectively, the franchise has now grossed more than $3.9 billion globally.

Elsewhere in the US, the top five was occupied by animated hit The Boss Baby, in second spot with $15.5 million (for a $116.3 million total), Disney’s live-action Beauty & The Beast in third, with $13.6 million ($454.6m), Smurfs: The Lost Village in fourth with $6.5 million and Going in Style, starring Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, in fifth with $6.4 million.

At the specialty box office, The Lost City of Z, starring Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson, started well for Amazon Studios and Bleecker Street, opening to $112,633 from four venues in New York and Los Angeles.

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