'Furious 7' destroys box office competition

'Furious 7' Peels Out With $15.8m Debut
'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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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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