‘Fate of the Furious’ speeds toward billion dollar mark worldwide

Last week “The Fate of the Furious” opened to a jaw-dropping worldwide haul of $532 million. That eclipsed the record held by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which raked in $529 million worldwide in its opening weekend in December, 2015. This weekend, the eighth installment in the franchise made another $200 million (including $38 million domestic.) Added to the takings during the week, and “The Fate of the Furious” now sits at $910 million worldwide. Not surprisingly, Universal has slotted two more sequels starring Vin Diesel for 2019 and 2021 respectively.

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As with the “Star Wars” film, which was number seven in the franchise, “The Fate of the Furious” also had a built-in audience as it is the eighth film in the series that was launched 16 years ago. Universal and its partners launched the film in 65 markets, including China where it had the best three-day weekend of all time (the “Star Wars” flick didn’t open in China until four weeks after the rest of the world.)

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The movie merits a mere 64% on Rotten Tomatoes and just 56 at Metacritic. However, even its harshest critics noted that it gives fans of the franchise lots of what they want: car chases. Indeed, it earned a grade of “A” from audiences polled by CinemaScore, thus matching the score of the most recent three sequels.

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