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'Fast and the Furious' on road to record global debut

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With this weekend's earnings, the Fast and Furious franchise has now amassed almost US$4.5 billion worldwide from all eight of its feature films and there are more to come with "Fast and Furious 9" planned for 2019 and a tenth installment set for a 2021 release.

Universal's "The Fate of the Furious" fell just short of $100 million in domestic receipts for its debut weekend but smashed the global opening record, industry data has showed. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" garnered $529 million worldwide during its opening weekend beginning Dec.18, 2015, according to website Box Office Mojo.

"There is no market that hasn't had a strong reception", told Duncan Clark, Universal's president of global distribution to The Indian express.

Fortune also reported that The Fate of the Furious' global record opening is better than the domestic numbers, revealing that worldwide movie market has a significant impact most especially to countries like China.

The film also drove past records in China, a growing movie market. The budget of The Fate of the Furious is estimated to be around $250 million which is the highest in the whole franchise. The film did well in premium formats, with Imax accounting for $31.1 million worth of revenue, the company's fourth-biggest global opening. Even so, the newest instalment, which cost at least US$350 million to make and market worldwide, had one of the best domestic opening weekends on record for an April release.

Furious 7 was released in 2015 and it now holds the record box office total for the franchise with a little over $1.5 billion.

Variety does note, however, that Chinese theaters only give studios about 25 percent of ticket sales, roughly half of what they receive in most major territories.

"It is a franchise that has adapted and changed over the years and is as relevant in 2017 as it was in 2001", senior media analyst for comScore Paul Dergarabedian said.

"The Boss Baby" was second this weekend with $16 million in sales between Friday and the close of business Sunday. Universal already has two more installments of the series in the works.

The Disney blockbuster, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, has taken in US$454.7 million (RM2.002 billion) domestically while pushing past US$1 billion (RM4.40 billion) internationally.

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