Furious 7 raced into Thursday night late showings and sped away with an impressive $15.8 million. The fast start for director James Wan’s supercharged sequel was easily the best opening night of 2015 thus far and portends what will be one of the best opening weekends of the year.
Less than two weeks ago the opening weekend forecast for Furious 7 starring Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, the late Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Statham, Ludacris and Jordana Brewster was in the neighborhood of $115 million. As anticipation for the film grew on a nearly daily basis, the forecast began to creep up.
By Monday of this week, box office forecasts for Furious 7 had topped $125 million. Now that number is considered low after the huge Thursday night opening and boffo business during the first half of Friday.
Current Furious 7 opening weekend box office predictions are between $130 and $145 million. Note that Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier earned $95 million during its debut weekend exactly a year ago, while the previous film in the franchise, Fast & Furious 6, bowed with a $97 million opening weekend.
I believe the pull of Paul Walker’s final performance in the franchise will push Furious 7 closer to $150 million than $140 million. I realize that’s a stretch, but the growing momentum is hard to ignore.
Check back Saturday for Friday’s Furious 7 box office results that will paint a clearer picture of where the three-day Easter weekend total is headed.