The high-octane Furious 7 collected a stunning $143.6 million from 4,004 theaters across North America in the opening weekend, easily topping the domestic box office. According to Rentrak, Furious 7 is now the ninth-biggest domestic opening of all-time. It has created a new record for April, blowing past Captain America: The Winter Soldier‘s $95 million on the same weekend last year.
People flock to see late Paul Walker
Furious 7 was humongous internationally, too. The film garnered a staggering $240.4 million from 10,500 screens in 63 territories. It means the latest installment in the Fast and Furious franchise has raked in a total of $384 million in its opening weekend worldwide. Globally, it was the fourth-biggest opening of all-time, behind two Harry Potter films and The Avengers.
The Fast and Furious franchise has grown in popularity with each new installment. But the impressive opening of Furious 7 can be attributed, at least partially, to people’s interest in late Paul Walker. Walker died in a tragic car crash in November 2013 before the film was completed. Following his sudden demise, production of the movie was halted as the filmmakers and Universal Pictures decided whether to proceed with the film.
The makers finally decided to delay the release from the original schedule of July 2014 to April 2015. Whatever the few scenes of Paul Walker remained were flesh out by animations and his brother. Furious 7 was slated to carry a tribute or an ode to the late actor, which pulled in more people to watch it.
Furious 7 set to hit the $1 billion mark
Universal Picture shelled out $190 million for the film’s production. BoxOffice.com vice-president Phil Contrino said Furious 7 is “a bittersweet installment in the franchise.” Paul Walker’s death made this movie a little more intriguing for people who hadn’t seen some of the previous installments.
With strong reviews and mammoth opening, Furious 7 could be the first in the franchise to hit the $1 billion mark. It is expected to rule the box office until Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters on May 1.