‘Fate of the Furious’ breaks ‘The Force Awakens’ worldwide box office opening record

The Fate of the Furious” opened to a jaw-dropping worldwide haul of $532 million this weekend. That eclipsed the record held by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which raked in $529 million worldwide in its opening weekend in December, 2015.  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.)

“The Fate of the Furious” cracked the $100 million mark domestically. While impressive, that is nowhere near a record. However, it did well in the rest of the world with a total take of $432.3 million. That far outpaces the previous benchmark set by “Jurassic World” in 2015 of $316 million overseas.

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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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