Furious 7 shifts into high gear with $140m opening weekend

01:02 PM | 5 Apr, 2015
Furious 7 shifts into high gear with $140m opening weekend
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NEW YORK (Web Desk) - Universal’s “Furious 7″ is speeding toward a record-setting opening weekend of nearly $140 million at 4,004 locations in United States.

“Furious 7″ blasted off with $58 million to $60 million on Friday - including $15.8 million in 3,069 Thursday-night showings that started at 7 pm in the US.

Recent estimates had placed the Friday-Sunday number at $115 million, which were revised upward early Friday to as much as $125 million. But Friday’s afternoon numbers - based on West Coast matinees and East Coast early evening screenings - indicated that the Easter weekend would finish between $135 million and $138 million.

The film, starring Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker, will easily set a record for an April opening weekend should the estimates hold. The current April record holder, Marvel-Disney’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” opened with $95 million on the same weekend last year.

All signals now suggest that the “Furious 7″ opening will easily exceed that of “Fast and Furious 6,″ which grossed $97 million in its domestic debut weekend two years ago on its way to $238 million. It will also become the 29th movie with a $100 million-plus opening weekend in the US and the first to do so since “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1″ opened in November with $122 million.

At $138 million, “Furious 7″ would tie “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1″ as the 11th highest domestic opener of all time. And it will exceed what had been the top opening of 2015 - the $85 million three-day launch of Universal’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” - by over 60%.

“Furious 7″ opened internationally with $60 million in its first two days on Wednesday and Thursday and will expand to 10,500 sites. It should take as much as $250 million from foreign moviegoers by the end of the Easter weekend.

The movie - replete with its trademark spectacular automotive stunts - is set in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Russia, Abu Dhabi and the Dominican Republic. Michelle Rodriguez, Jordanna Brewster, Tyrese Gibson and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges reprise their roles.