Furious 7 has topped the global box office by taking $384 million in its opening weekend.
Almost half of that figure – $190 million – was made at the US box office.
Globally, it is the fourth-highest opening of all time, beaten only by two Harry Potter movies and The Avengers.
Interest in Furious 7 was at least partially tied to its late star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash in before the movie was completed in 2013.
Following the fatal accident, production on Furious 7 was suspended while the filmmakers decided whether or not to proceed.
The team ultimately decided to delay the release from its scheduled July 2014 date. Paul Walker’s scenes were completed using a mixture of computer animation and body doubles – including two of the star’s younger brothers, Caleb and Cody.
“Walker’s passing made this movie more intriguing for people who hadn’t seen some of the installments. It raised awareness and its success is a tribute to him.”
The original – The Fast and the Furious, released in June 2001 – was a sleeper hit that spawned a few moderately successful sequels.
After the third movie in the series, Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, left cinemas with a franchise-worst box office of $158 million, it seemed the series would be scrapped, or move to the straight-to-DVD market.
Instead, executives persuaded Vin Diesel, the star of the original film, to return and made Fast & Furious – a heist film set overseas.
Since then, the franchise has gone from strength to strength, with each movie outperforming the last.
North American box office Top 5:
- Furious 7 – $143.6 million
- Home – $27.4 million
- Get Hard – $12.9 million
- Cinderella – $10.3 million
- The Divergent Series: Insurgent – $10 million [youtube Skpu5HaVkOc 650]