Furious 7 literally soared at the box office on Friday and blew away even the most aggressive estimates over the past week to set what will be one of several April records for the Universal sequel.
With the unfortunate draw of being Paul Walker’s final appearance in the franchise after his untimely death during the production timeline, Furious 7 muscled up $67.3 million on Friday following a big $15.8 million Thursday night opening. That’s the biggest opening day of any film in North America in nearly two years and easily the biggest opening of 2015.
Playing at a franchise-record 4,003 locations, Furious 7 starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludicrous, Jason Statham and Tyrese Gibson has done nothing but accelerate past all expectations. Even the most aggressive estimates late this past week of $145 million are considered low ball as the Friday through Sunday total should finish somewhere just north of $150 million barring an unlikely Sunday collapse, especially considering the “A” CinemaScore rating garnered from Friday’s audiences.
Last year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier from Marvel currently holds the best April and Easter weekend opening of all-time with $95 million a year ago. Furious 7 will easily blow past that mark and set a record that won’t likely be challenged anytime soon given this film’s unusual combination of a huge built-in fan base and a tough early farewell to one of the franchise’s original stars.
The current Fast & Furious franchise high mark was set by the previous film in the series, Fast and Furious 6, at $789 million. Furious 7 should easily eclipse that mark and might even make a run for the coveted $1 billion mark that would put it in elite company. Needless to say an eighth film in this franchise that grows in strength with each successive entry is a foregone conclusion.
Check back Sunday for Universal’s Furious 7 weekend box office estimate following Saturday’s box office returns.