'Furious 7' destroys box office competition

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'Furious 7' Peels Out With $15.8m Debut

The James Wan-piloted Furious 7 destroyed its box office competition on Thursday and Friday, pulling in a gargantuan $67.3 million gross, including $15.8m in Thursday night showings. (That's 54 percent ahead of its predecessor's three-day gross and 26 percent of its predecessor's four-day gross.) It's also the ninth-biggest Friday opening ever, trailing only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ($91 million), The Avengers ($80 million), The Dark Knight Rises ($75.7 million), Twilight: New Moon ($72.6 million), Twilight: Breaking Dawn I ($71.6 million), Breaking Dawn II ($71.1 million), Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($70.9 million), and Iron Man 3 ($68.8 million). Interestingly, Furious 7 is the only one of the aforementioned films not based on a book (or comic, as it were). Even more interestingly, Furious 7 is the only one of the aforementioned films whose massive opening-day gross is not the result of a massive midnight/Thursday opening.

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'Furious 7' destroys box office competition
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03: Jordana Brewster attends AOL BUILD Speaker Series: Jordana Brewster Discusses Her Film 'Furious 7' at AOL Studios In New York on April 3, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 01: (Editors Note; This image has been converted from color to B\W). Vin Diesel arrives at Universal Pictures Premiere of 'Furious 7'' at the TLC Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, on April 1, 2015 in Los Angeles.CA (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Actors Paul Walker, Vin Diesel and Tyrese Gibson attend the 'Fast & Furious 6' World Premiere at The Empire, Leicester Square on May 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Universal Pictures)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 01: Actress Michelle Rodriguez attends Universal Pictures' 'Furious 7' premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 1, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 01: Actor Vin Diesel (L) and Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal attend Universal Pictures' 'Furious 7' premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 1, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 01: Actor/recording artist Ludacris (L) and Eudoxie Agnan attend Universal Pictures' 'Furious 7' premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 1, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 01: Actor Vin Diesel attends Universal Pictures' 'Furious 7' premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on April 1, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Tyrese Gibson attends the World Premiere of ''Fast & Furious 6'' at Empire Leicester Square on May 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Adam Deacon attends the World Premiere of 'Fast & Furious 6' at Empire Leicester Square on May 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)
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As Forbes's Scott Mendelson points out, Furious 7's "pure Friday gross" is $51.5 million, the third-highest single-day gross behind only The Avengers ($61 million) and Iron Man 3 ($53.2 million). You can probably ascertain the similarity between those two films. According to Variety, Wan's film is on track to make over $150 million this weekend, which would trounce Captain America 2 ($95 million) for the all-time opening weekend gross in April, a perennial purgatory for movies. (Initial estimates were in the ballpark of $115 million.) Whether you're a fervid admirer of the series with an engine for a heart and pure gasoline coursing its veins or one of its myriad detractors (the critical reception has been polarizing so far), this kind of box office is unequivocally good for movies.

(Forbes, Variety)

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