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‘Furious 7′ Soaring to $125 Million Opening Weekend in U.S.

Variety logo Variety 4/3/2015 Dave McNary
© Provided by Variety

Universal’s “Furious 7″ is speeding toward a record-setting opening weekend of as much as $125 million at 4,004 U.S. locations, according to early Friday estimates.

“Furious 7″ is blasting off with $51 million to $55 million on Friday — including $15.8 million in 3,069 Thursday night showings that started at 7 p.m. in the U.S.

Recent estimates have placed the Friday-Sunday number at $115 million but Friday’s early numbers indicate that the weekend may go $10 million higher.

The film, starring Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker, will set a record for an April opening weekend should the estimates hold. The current April record holder, Marvel-Disney’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opened with $95 million on the same weekend last year.

All signals now point to “Furious 7″ exceeding “Fast and Furious 6,″ which grossed $97 million in its domestic debut weekend two years ago on its way to $238 million. It will also become the 29th movie with a $100 million-plus opening weekend in the U.S. and the first to do so since “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1″ opened in November with $122 million.

At $125 million, “Furious 7″ would tie “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1″ as the 14th highest domestic opener of all time. And it will exceed the top opener of 2015 — the $85 million three-day opening of Universal’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” — by nearly 50%.

“Furious 7″ launched internationally with $60 million in its first two days on Wednesday and Thursday and will expand to 10,500 sites. It should take as much as $250 million from foreign moviegoers by the end of the Easter weekend.

The movie — replete with its trademark spectacular automotive stunts — is set in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, Russia, Abu Dhabi and the Dominican Republic. Michelle Rodriguez, Jordanna Brewster, Tyrese Gibson and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges reprise their roles.

The durable franchise, which launched in 2001, generated more than $2.4 billion in worldwide box office from the first six movies.

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