'Fate of the Furious' races to biggest global box office opening ever

Fast 8's opening box office haul breaks the previous record held by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That figure surpasses Jurassic World ($316.7 million) as the top global launch of all time.

Exhibitor Relations said the latest chapter in Universal Studio's Fast and Furious series accounted for almost two-thirds of North American revenues over the three-day Easter weekend, leaving previous frontrunner The Boss Baby, a Fox/DreamWorks animation, in its dust with just US$15.5 million (RM68.27 million) in sales. This excluded China as the film released three weeks after its worldwide release.

Universal global distribution chief Duncan Clark said, "This franchise is showing no sign of wear and tear".

"Whatever culture, whatever language, whatever country, we seem to have found a home", he added.

The action flick which stars Vin Diesel, who also doubles as the producer, is also the best produced by its studio, Universal, beating the Jurassic World $525.5m earned in 2015. Fast and Furious 8 scraped up US$2.8 million, equalling to S$3.9 million.

"Each one of these films has its own momentum", said Universal's president of domestic distribution Nick Carpou. Given Paul Walker's demise prior to the release of "Furious 7", it can be recalled that the franchise has been taken to a new direction.

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He died in a auto crash while the film was still in production. Walker played cop turned street racer Brian O'Conner, a lead character in six of the films.

Based on the huge disparity between this installment's opening numbers and "Furious 7's", American fans seemingly have become disinterested with the franchise. Audiences agreed, handing "The Fate of the Furious" an A CinemaScore. In North America alone it earned $100.2 million - though, as Comic Book Resources note, this was actually lower than expected.

Beyond Johnson, Diesel, Mirren, and Theron, The Fate of the Furious brings back franchise veterans Kurt Russell, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Statham, and Michelle Rodriguez.

Its nearest competitor was The Boss Baby, which took a further $15.5m (£12.4m) to land second place.

Disney's "Beauty And The Beast" crossed the $1 billion mark in worldwide sales in its fifth week of domestic exhibition.

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