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‘Fate Of The Furious’ Sets Massive $532M Global Opening Record & Sends Universal Past The Billion Mark Abroad

Deadline logo Deadline 4/17/2017 Anthony D'Alessandro
© Provided by Deadline

8th Update, Final: Universal’s final figures for F. Gary Gray’s The Fate of the Furious$532M worldwide debut, whipping Star Wars: The Force Awakens‘ $529M. Broken out that’s $433.2M abroad, beating Jurassic World‘s $316.7M previous foreign record launch, and $98.8M. Thanks to Fate, Uni speeds past the billion mark at the international B.O., making it the second studio to reach that milestone in 2017. That’s 11 years in a row for Uni grossing $1 billion abroad, and it’s the second fastest in regards to getting there after 2015.

Broken franchise? Time to call it quits? Don’t think so, but again, the decline stateside just means that Uni has to worker harder to up the stakes part Fast and Furious 9. At $98.8M, it’s still the second best for the series after Furious 7‘s $147.1M, and the best opening for director Gray, star Charlize Theron and second best domestic opening for Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson.

Other highlights:

Fate of the Furious bowed to No. 1 in every territory and scored all-time opening weekend records in 19 territories including Argentina, Colombia, Egypt, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Middle East, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, U.A.E., Uruguay, and Venezuela. It’s also Uni’s highest grossing opening weekend of all time in 27 territories. That includes the 19 mentioned plus Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Israel, and Mexico.

F8 reps the biggest opening weekend of the Fast & Furious franchise in 36 territories. They are the above territories plus Croatia, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Iceland, Korea, Lithuania, Slovakia, Ukraine and the U.K. and Ireland.

F8‘s $192.1M opening in China is an all-time record for the Middle Kingdom for a Hollywood movie. Among all pics, F8 is the second biggest opening weekend behind local title The Mermaid (which included 4 full days of previews over Chinese New Year).

–Other box office results include: Mexico $17.7M; U.K. and Ireland $17.5M; Russia $14.2M; Germany $13.6M; Brazil $12.8M; India $10.7M; Korea $10.6M; Middle East Combined $9.9M; Australia $9.5M; Taiwan $9.3M; France $9.2M; Argentina $9M; Indonesia $8.5M; Italy $6.7M; Malaysia $6.3M; Spain $6.1M; Colombia $4.9M; Thailand $4.9M; and Panama $4.8M.

 —The Fate of the Furious opened bigger than all the previous Fast & Furious films. Overseas, in its first weekend, it beat the lifetime totals of The Fast and the Furious $62.9M; 2 Fast 2 Furious $109M; The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift $96M and Fast & Furious $208M and Furious 5 $401.3M.

–IMAX hubs grossed $22.6M at 681 international screens; that’s the second-biggest IMAX opening internationally behind Jurassic World $23.2M.

We’ll have the full domestic chart for you later.

7th Update Sunday 8:40AM & 6:30 AM: The   Fate of the Furious is expected to cross $100.1M this weekend. This is according to rival studios and early morning estimates.

Late last night, for a minute, it appeared that F8 would miss the century mark with a three-day between $98.5M-$99.3M. This morning, box office analysts see a clear road ahead for the eighth-title.

At $100.1M, Fate of the Furious marks a record opening for an African-American director with F. Gary Gray beating his previous three-day of $60.2M set by Straight Outta Compton. F8 is also the best opening ever for Charlize Theron, beating Hancock ($62.6M), and it’s the second best debut stateside for both Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson.

While some studios might snark that Uni is coming in toward the bottom of their tracking, make no mistake, there isn’t an executive on the Universal City lot with their heads in the hands. Fate of the Furious was always a global play for Uni; they never expected this movie to outstrip F7. Should Uni meet the projections they’re putting out there this morning, then they could inch past Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the top global opening of all-time ($528.966M), and even if they miss the mark, then they’re the second-highest, on top of Jurassic World‘s $525.5M and Furious 7′s 397.7M. International for Fate of the Furious is already at an all-time high with $430.4M. Should domestic fall below a $100M debut, there’s nothing to cry about in the opening weekend of this film. It should still stand as the second best FSS for the series after F7. The only challenge that remains for the studio going forward for the Fast and Furious franchise is making the next sequel better than this one so the franchise doesn’t run out of gas.

For F8 to reach $100M it would need to dip 29% today from the industry’s estimated $31.799M Saturday or make $22.5M. Typically the No. 1 title over Easter weekend (read Batman v. Superman, F7, Clash of the Titans) drops between -29% to -35% between Saturday and Easter. The expectation is that a bulk of Hispanic and African American crowds will head to the movies after church today, further bolstering the projections we are seeing here this morning.

Even though the opening for F8 is -32% from F7‘s high, the fact that the franchise is posting triple digit grosses 17 years into its run is pretty amazing. Consider the fact that the original movie opened to $40M in the summer of 2001, which was healthy at the time, dropped to a $23.9M with Tokyo Drift, then continually swelled with each sequel.

Speaking about that box office longevity, Universal domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou said today, “Each (Fast and Furious) title renews the audience, sustains a new audience and stays relevant to today. It feels fresh to people. We’re finding new youngsters and continuing to resonate with people who have been there for all eight films. Each title drives momentum in its own way.”

We’ve heard the reported production cost for F8 resides between $250M-$270M. On the low end, that’s what F7 was made for, which minted a $354M profit after all ancillaries off a $1.5B global take and $173M worldwide theatrical P&A. We hear that the domestic finish line for F8 is around $250M and worldwide it’s between $1.2B-$1.3B.

If there’s any wonder why F8 is so big around the globe, it’s because Uni just crushed it in the social media aspect. Relish Mix ranks the top film franchises by social media universe size:

As we mentioned previously, F8 received its fourth A CinemaScore in the series. Updated PostTrak figures from ComScore/ScreenEngine show an 88% total positive score, which is one digit under the 89% reaped by F7. Demos for this sequel were as follows: 36% Caucasian, 23% African American and Hispanic respectively and 13% Asian; still a series that sells to everyone. More Asian moviegoers came out this time around, with Caucasian and Hispanic audiences easing from F7. That predecessor’s breakdown: 39% Caucasian, 27% Hispanic, 22% African American and 7% Asian.

Here’s what changed demo wise for F8 since Thursday night: Young males surged from 23% on Thursday to 30% last night, with older guys dipping from 33% to 28%. Females over 25 also dipped from 29% to 24%.  There was a slight uptick in younger females going from 15% to 18%, but overall they were the minority with the sequel.

Those recommending F8 to their friends is at a massive 71% definite, up from the 67% we saw Thursday night. Per PostTrak, a bigger proportion of people took F8 in on Imax and PLF (41% combined) than F7 (15%). Thus, 2D ticketbuyers repped 57% of F8‘s business versus F7‘s 71%. That means more die-hard moviegoers came out to watch F8 versus the folks who don’t typically go to the movie. In the last two months, 65% of F8‘s audience have seen three or more movies. Thirty-nine percent came to see F8 because they love the franchise while 34% came for the ensemble cast.

Props to Amazon/Bleecker Street’s The Lost City of Z which notched the best per theater of $28K+ at four locations, that’s higher than what F8 is posting with $23k. The James Gray-directed period piece about 1920s British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett who gets lost in the jungle travels to 500 destinations on Friday. Pic owns an 88% Certified Fresh Rotten Tomatoes score.

Other high-fives this weekend: 20th Century Fox’s Logan crossed $600M worldwide, the fourth biggest for an R-rated film ever. Lionsgate just finished its best calendar quarter ever that didn’t include a Hunger Games or Twilight movie. They grossed $755.6 million at the worldwide box office ($364.1 million domestic, $391.5 million internationally) for the January 1-March 31, 2017 period, driven by LaLa Land, John Wick: Chapter Two, The Shack, Saban’s Power Rangers and Patriots Day.

Below are the top 10 films of the weekend based on studio-reported Sunday estimates:

1.) The Fate of the Furious (UNI), 4,310 theaters / $45.8M Fri. (includes $10.4M previews) /$31.799M Sat/$22.5M Sun/3-day cume: $100.1M /Wk 1 [studio estimate]

2.) The Boss Baby (20thCentury Fox/DWA), 3,743 theaters (-86)  / $6.5M Fri. /$5.6M Sat/ $3.4M Sun/3-day cume: $15.5m (-41%)/ Total: $116.3M/Wk 3

3.) Beauty and the Beast (DIS), 3,592 theaters (-377)  / $5M Fri. /$5.3M Sat/$3.2M/ 3-day cume: $13.6M (-42%) / Total cume: $454.7MWk 5

4.) Smurfs: The Lost Village (Sony), 3,610 theaters / $2.7M Fri. (-34%) /$2.3M Sat/$1.45M Sun/3-day cume: $6.5M (-51%)/Total: $24.7M/Wk 2

5.) Going in Style (WB/VR), 3,076 theaters (+15) / $2.1M Fri./$2.5M Sat/$1.7M Sun/3-day cume: $6.35M  (-47%)/Total: $23.3M/Wk 2

6.)Gifted (FSL), 1146 theaters (+1090) / $1M Fri./$1.2M Sat/$800K Sun/3-day cume: $3M (+573%)/Total: $4.3M/Wk 2

7.) Get Out (UNI), 1,424 theaters (-150) / $1.08M Fri. /$1.1M Sat/$720K Sun/3-day cume: $2.9M  (-28%)/ Total cume: $167.5M / Wk 8

8.) Saban’s Power Rangers (LGF), 2,171 theaters  (-807) / $1.05M Fri. /$1.08M Sat/$715k Sun/ 3-day cume: $2.85M (-54%) / Total cume: $80.5M / Wk 4

9.) The Case for Christ (Pureflix), 1,386 theaters (+212) / $955K Fri./$980K Sat/$785k Sun/3-day cume: $2.7M (-31%) /Total:$8.4M/Wk 2

10.) Kong: Skull Island (20th/Legendary), 2,018 theaters (-735) / $920K Fri./$1M Sat/$690K Sun/3-day cume: $2.67M (-52%)Total cume: $161.2M Wk 6

Notables: 

The Zookeeper’s Wife (Focus) 1,057 theaters (+253)/ $644K Fri/$835K Sat/$585K Sun/$2.06M (-23%)/Total: $10.66M

Colossal (NEON), 100 theaters (+96) / $173 Fri/$178,6K Sat/$110,7K Sun/ 3-day cume: $462,8K (+285%)/$4,7k PTA/Total: $616K/Wk 2

Their Finest (STX/Europa), 52 theaters (+48) / 3-day cume: $360k (+374%) /Total: $470K/Wk 2 

The Lost City of Z  (BST/AMZ), 4 theaters / $39K Fri./$28,1k PTA/3-day cume: $112,6k/Wk 1

Finding Oscar (FilmRise) 1 theater/3-day: $3K/Wk 1

5th update, Saturday AM after Friday 11:16PM post: The box office gas needle for Universal’s The Fate of the Furious is slightly above what we saw last night, with $45.8M in the tank from Friday, on its way to a $102.1M opening at 4,310 theaters, the widest pre-summer release ever.

While that figure is at the lower end of where tracking saw the sequel (many forecasted it as high as $110M), there isn’t a major studio in town who would say that’s an awful opening for a movie, especially for an eighth title in an action franchise, one that’s specifically built around car stunts and crashes. Burt Reynolds could only wish that back in the day his ’80s cinematic car series that began with 1977’s Smokey and the Bandit and ’81’s Cannonball Run had the type of B.O. momentum that the Fast and Furious franchise possesses.

Furious 7 is a hard act to follow, and is organically the outlier opening wise in the Furious canon with $147.1M given how the pic’s anticipation was fueled not only by its production delay, but the fact that it was the late Paul Walker’s swan song. We saw a similar type of groundswell in ticket sales from fans when Dark Knight opened to $158.4M following Heath Ledger’s passing. Audiences simply want to share in and watch a great actor’s final turn on screen in a legacy film. So, here we are with F8 in what looks like it’s the second-best opening of the series in the triple digit million range.

Few film franchises which are close to 20 years old have demonstrated a box office ability to increase their openings with each installment or maintain them above a high water level. There are some, read 007 , Batman, Jurassic Park and Star Wars, and you can put Fast and Furious on that list. In addition, audiences love the Fast and Furious series more than they did when it first opened in 2001. Sixteen years ago The Fast and the Furious earned a B+ CinemaScore, and Fate of the Furious received an overall A, its fourth in a row since 2011’s Fast Five. In addition, critics have also warmed up to the series over time. The first four films earned Rotten Tomatoes scores under 55%, and ever since Fast Five, the franchise has received fresh ratings. F8 earns a 64% fresh, which is down from the series’ best RT score of 79% with Furious 7. 

While cynics will argue that we can’t ignore the fact that F8 is coming in at the lower end of tracking, it’s Uni’s challenge to figure out how to continually up the stakes and want-to-see factor going forward with this repo man/renegade/spy series involving car stunts. Jumping through two buildings was the trick in F7, and F8 served up wrecking balls, Vin Diesel’s car on fire in a Havana street race and an epic crash, bang, boom sequence on the icy plains of the Arctic Barents Sea — and Charlize Theron. What to do next? Have two beefcakes fight over a parking space? There was buzz in late 2015 that Uni was kicking the tires on The Fast and Furious prequel films. Vin Diesel announced the release dates for the ninth and tenth films through 2021 early last year.

West Coast cash registers, where Furious thrives, pushed F8‘s Friday to $45.8M which in turn is upping its current weekend opening to $102M+. Again, F8, like F7  benefits from Easter holiday business with 74% of all K-12 schools off on Good Friday as well as a third of the nation’s colleges. F8‘s Thursday night repped 23% of Friday’s business, much like F7 did. Many like to say with these fan films that they’re front-loaded, and it sure looks that way when a distributor wraps Thursday’s money into Friday’s grosses. But if we break F8 down, it made $10.4M Thursday night, another $35.4M Friday (for $45.8M total day), and it will technically only be down 10% today with an estimated $32M, the same percent dip between Friday and Saturday for F7 (backing out Thursday’s $15.8M). CinemaScore reports that F8‘s crowed was made up of 58% guys, 42% females. Those 18-24 gave it an A+ at 19%. Fifty-five percent were over 25. Forty percent bought tickets for the cast and 43% went because it was a Fast and Furious movie.

The studio always knew they were bound to ease from Furious 7 stateside, and took the proper steps, i.e. including China and Russia, to guarantee a great global debut. Already, F8 is up to $82.2M abroad through Thursday. Separately China, which isn’t counted in the overseas haul yet, could do $64M after record midnight shows of $8.7M.

When it comes to social media, Universal, arguably more than any other studio, knows how to reach target demos on social media, and keep their interest: The Fast and the Furious series counts the largest social media universe of any film property with 2.18 billion according to Relish Mix across YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Despicable Me 3 ranks third so far this year with 1.38B. Star Wars, which is holding its annual Star Wars Celebration fan convention currently, hasn’t even cracked a billion in its SMU which currently counts 967M.

Furthermore, Uni is blessed with one of the most vibrant and hardest-working social casts any major studio could wish for: Between Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris and Jason Statham, the F8 cast reaches 412.8M people on social.  Statham’s Instagram is adding 51K a day up to 10.6M total, Charlize Theron’s IG is adding 16k daily, and F8 newcomer Scott Eastwood is adding 8K per day. The Rock’s IG is clocking 152K new followers a day up to 83M total and Vin Diesel is also ticking 152K new IG followers daily, now totaling 35.9M. The official Fast & Furious Facebook page has been adding 40-50k new fans a day and is now well past 60M fans total. Hashtags #FastandFurious, #F8, #Fast8 are doubling daily activity from 5k, to 10k, to 20K following Thursday night previews and climbing.

Taking a page from the Cubby Broccoli textbook on brand partners, Castrol, one of the F8 promo partners, dropped a boosted social spot now with 1.1M views a day and 20.7M total featuring Rodriguez for EDGE Titanium Ice:

Uni began igniting Furious fans back in December with a trailer launch that entailed a massive Times Square takeover, and at the time set a new 24-hour online historical record of 139M (that record was recently beaten by Warner Bros./New Line’s It which clicked 197M global views in its first day).

Every Friday during production, Uni released exclusive behind-the-scenes content from F8 on its social pages as part of #FastFridays, which yielded 128M-plus engagements.  The Fate of the Furious 60-second Super Bowl spot was viewed more than 42M times on social media in its first 24 hours.

Comcast/NBCUniversal supported F8 through its Symphony program with representation across all its brands. This included a Fast & Furious theme night on NBC and cable networks including Bravo, USA, E!, Telemundo and Universo, which aired the series during the past week. There was F8 content sprinkled throughout with custom intros and sneak peeks at the film. Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson both visited The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon during a special week of shows airing from location in Orlando, Florida.

Soon after F7 was a hit two years ago, Vin Diesel stepped on stage at CinemaCon and announced that there would be an F8 and that its release date etched in stone would be Friday April 14, 2017. The actor returned to the confab at the end of March with another surprise: A screening for exhibitors. For a minute, Vin Diesel even considered directing F8 given Justin Lin and F7‘s James Wan’s scheduling problems. Vin Diesel was also championing the series’ first helmer Rob Cohen to return. A shortlist ensued including Louis Leterrier, Will Eubank, Ericson Core and F. Gary Gray. Gray won out, and was definitely Uni’s top choice in the wake of his success with Straight Outta Compton ($201.6M worldwide). Gray and Vin Diesel announced the director’s attachment on Facebook. 

And whenever there’s a big popcorn title in the marketplace, leave it to the specialty side to meet the demand of the underserved older adult audience. Fox Searchlight went wide with its Chris Evans-Jenny Slate family drama Gifted making $3M at 1,146 theaters. After Fate of the Furious’ $23K theater average, Amazon/Bleecker Street’s James Gray title The Lost City of Zbuilt on top of an 88% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, has the second highest theater average of the weekend so far with $20K. Sony Pictures Classics has a pair of great PTAs in the Richard Gere drama Norman and Ethan Hawke-Sally Hawkins romance drama Maudie earning close to $13K and $19K per venue, respectively.

Easter weekend 2017’s top 10 and notables per Friday night industry estimates: —chart being updated.

1.) The Fate of the Furious (UNI), 4,310 theaters / $45.8M Fri. (includes $10.4M previews) /3-day cume: $102.1M /Wk 1

2.) The Boss Baby (20thCentury Fox/DWA), 3,743 theaters (-86)  / $6.5M Fri. (-6%) / 3-day cume: $15.9m (-40%)/ Total: $116.7M/Wk 3

3.) Beauty and the Beast (DIS), 3,592 theaters (-377)  / $5M Fri. (-22%)   / 3-day cume: $13.1M (-44%) / Total cume: $454.1M/ Wk 5

4.) Smurfs: The Lost Village (Sony), 3,610 theaters / $2.7M Fri. (-34%) /3-day cume: $6.8M (-49%)/Total: $25M/Wk 2

5.) Going in Style (WB/VR), 3,076 theaters (+15) / $2.1M Fri. (-50% )/3-day cume: $6M  (-50%)/Total: $23M/Wk 2

6.)Gifted (FSL), 1146 theaters (+1090) / $1M Fri. (+600%)/3-day cume: $3.1M (+675%)/Total: $4.5M/Wk 2

7.) Saban’s Power Rangers (LGF), 2,171 theaters  (-807) / $1M Fri. (-40%)/ 3-day cume: $2.9M (-52%) / Total cume: $80.6M / Wk 4

8.) Get Out (UNI), 1,424 theaters (-150) / $1M Fri. (-16%)/3-day cume: $2.8M  (-31%)/ Total cume: $167.4M / Wk 8

9.) The Case for Christ (Pureflix), 1,386 theaters (+212) / $949K Fri. (-38%)/3-day cume: $2.7M (-31%) /Total:$8.4M/Wk 2

10.) Kong: Skull Island (20th/Legendary), 2,018 theaters (-735) / $909K Fri.(-40%) 3-day cume: $2.59M (-53%)Total cume: $163.2M Wk 6

NOTABLES:

Manje Bistre  (WHP), 65 theaters / $186K Fri./$9k PTA/3-day cume: $544k/Wk 1

Colossal (NEON), 100 theaters (+96) / $173 Fri.(+284%)/ 3-day cume: $501K (+317%)/$5k PTA/Total: $621K/Wk 2

Their Finest (STX/Europa), 52 theaters (+48) / $100k Fri.(+418%)/$5,7k screen average/ 3-day cume: $298k (+291%) /Total: $412K/Wk 2 

Tommy’s Honour (RSA), 160 theaters / $71K Fri./3-day cume: $186k/Wk 1

The Lost City of Z  (BST/AMZ), 4 theaters / $39K Fri./$26k PTA/3-day cume: $104k/Wk 1

Norman  (SPC), 5 theaters / $26K Fri./$14,5k PTA/3-day cume: $73k/Wk 1

Maudie  (SPC), 3 theaters / $23K Fri./$16,1k PTA/3-day cume: $64k/Wk 1

2nd Update, Friday 7:06 AM: The numbers are in and Universal is calling The Fate of the Furious’ Thursday night at $10.4M at 3,310 theaters, which is right in between where we projected it yesterday at 7:46PM: $9M-$11M.

That’s the second best preview night for the Fast and Furious franchise after Furious 7‘s Holy Thursday of $15.8M. Fate of the Furious‘ Thursday is above Logan‘s $9.5M (first day $33M, weekend $88.4M) and under Guardians of the Galaxy‘s first night of $11.2M (first day $37.8M, weekend $94.3M). Tracking earlier this week had F8 between $100M-$110M. When all is said and done by end of Sunday, Fate of the Furious will stand as the best opening for a film by an African American director with F. Gary Gray beating his previous record of $60.2M set by Straight Outta Compton. 

ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak reports that the pic received an 88% overall positive score, which is quite close to the 89% score that Furious 7 received, and under the 90% that Fast & Furious 6 earned. Biggest demos for F8 in descending order were men over 25 (33%), females over 25 (29%) and men under 25 (23%) with females under 25 being the lowest at 15%. PostTrak polls throughout the weekend, so demos will continue to change. When compared to the first week of F7, that movie drew more under 25 males and females (respectively 35% and 26%) and if F8‘s demos stay consistent, it just means that portion of the audience got older between sequels.

Good word of mouth here, but it comes as no surprise that it’s under F7: 67% of those who bought tickets last night to F8 will recommend it to their friends vs. 72% who did so for F7. As opposed to 25% who came out for the cast as a whole on F7, this time 36% of all ticket buyers last night cited the ensemble as their reason for attending. Forty-eight percent said they went to F8 because it’s part of a franchise they love.

Frequent moviegoers (those who’ve seen four movies or more in the last two months) were the dominant crowd last night at 55%. Forty-eight percent watched the F. Gary Gray-directed sequel in Imax, that’s a huge surge over the 15% who watched F7 in Imax per PostTrak stats. The eighth-quel is also in play in all nine 4DX locations in the U.S.; those are the motion-movie seats that move to a pic’s action on screen.

As far as what spurred moviegoers the most to head to F8, 22% said it was the trailer they watched in the theater, 14% said it was TV spots, 11% claimed it was friends and family influencing them and 8% respectively said it was the online trailer on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram.

Other major studios are staying wise this weekend in the wake of F8 and are holding back on their wide releases. F8 couldn’t come at a better time as moviegoers have been OD-ing on family fare; last night alone three kid pics topped the box office with 20th Century Fox/DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby grossing $3.06M and crossing the century mark in its second week, followed by Beauty and the Beast ($2.7M, $441M in its fourth week) and Sony’s Smurfs: The Lost Village ($1.3M, first week of $18.2M).

1st Update, Thursday 7:46PM: After logging $19.7M abroad and close to $44M advance ticket sales in China, Universal’s The Fate of the Furious looks to be zooming to an estimated $9M-$11M Thursday night at the domestic B.O per rival sources.

This is based off early showtimes, and keep in mind that once west coast registers are taken into account, the figure could potentially go higher, which was the case with Furious 7.

West coast showtimes for Furious 7 and Fast & Furious 6 benefited greatly from west coast Hispanic moviegoers, which respectively drew 27% and 23% according to ComScore/Screen Engine’s PostTrak audience polls.

In total, Furious 7‘s $15.8M Holy Thursday at 3,069 venues repped 23% of its Good Friday $67.4M business, the second best for that day after last year’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice ($81.55M). F6‘s Thursday night, which occurred prior to the Memorial Day stretch, grossed $6.5M ultimately repping 17% of the $38.7M made on its first Friday. Furious 7 set a new Easter opening record of $147.1M in 2015 before Batman v. Superman unseated it a year ago with a $166M three-day haul.

While the natural knee-jerk reaction here is to comp Fate of the Furious to Furious 7, Uni never intended the eighth-quel to emulate the late Paul Walker’s finale from a story or business standpoint. Already, we’re hearing from rival sources that F8‘s hourlies, while robust, are pacing at a differently from F7. 

Early tracking indicated that Fate of the Furious is headed to a $100M-$110M domestic opening. The sequel will easily mark the best opening at the domestic box office for an African American director, a record which F8 helmer F. Gary Gray currently owns with Straight Outta Compton ($60.2M).

We’ll have more updates for you in the morning.

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