It was indeed hard saying goodbye again to Paul Walker after Fast & Furious 7 debuted this past weekend as audiences flocked to see him in one of his final roles.
Walker’s work on the film had to be completed using digital technology and a series of stand-ins after his sudden death at the age of 40 in a 2013 car crash.
“This is a bittersweet installment in the franchise,” said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. “[Walker’s] passing made this movie more intriguing for people who hadn’t seen some of the installments. It raised awareness and its success is a tribute to him.”
Now in the record books for more reasons than one, Furious 7, becoming the largest opening of all the Fast and Furious films, boosted the year-to-year box office by 33%, and is climbing towards $400M worldwide already!
Directed by James Wan and produced by Neal Moritz and Vin Diesel, the franchise 7th installment revs to the biggest April opening ever (first time a film has opened past $100M), the highest opening ever and best Friday and Saturday for the Universal Pictures, second-largest pre-summer bow in history (behind 2012’s Hunger Games), and the largest opening so far of 2015!
The action-packed movie also opened as the ninth-highest film in history behind other well-known franchises such as Harry Potter, The Avengers, Iron Man and the Twilight Saga.
However, it stands out because unlike the others mentioned, the car-racing franchise was not based on books or comic books, but on an original concept.
There are predictions that Furious 7 may challenge American Sniper‘s $346m domestic cume for the biggest-grossing film of 2014 and 2015 thus far.