There is nothing the box office likes more than a record, and Furious 7 is set to deliver in a big way. Exactly six years after Fast and Furious revitalized Universal’s street racing franchise, the seventh entry in the series is gunning for multiple records, including the best opening in Fast and Furious history and the biggest April opening of all time.
The last time we saw Vin Diesel, The Rock, and their lead-footed compatriots behind the wheel was in May 2013, when Fast & Furious 6 had a huge debut over the highly-competitive Memorial Day weekend. Though box office logic typically dictates that a series is past its prime by the time it hits the decade mark, Fast & Furious 6 wound up securing a new record for the franchise, as well as an all-time high for Universal, with its $97.3 million opening.
Both of those records are now set to fall courtesy of Furious 7. This year’s first bona fide blockbuster (American Sniper was released at the end of 2014) took in an estimated $67.3 million from 4,004 locations on Friday, including $15.8 million from its Thursday p.m. previews. That puts F7 on track for at least $140 million through Sunday.
For months now it has been an article of faith that Furious 7 would speed past the $95 million debut of last year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier to secure the biggest April opening of all time, but this level of success tops even the most optimistic early projections. If estimates hold, Furious 7 will rank as the tenth best opening day of all time, ahead of The Hunger Games and The Dark Knight, before adjusting for inflation.
The only question now is how high Furious 7 will rise this weekend. The film is claiming the best reviews in the history of the franchise (81% on Rotten Tomatoes) and, more predictably, received a near perfect ‘A’ from CinemaScore audiences. Grosses from the film’s IMAX locations were especially strong on Friday, and with no other major studio releases to siphon interest, some projections put Furious 7 closer to $150 million through Sunday. Check back tomorrow to see how big 2015’s first blockbuster will become.