Universal's "The Fate of the Furious" smashed global box office records, earning an estimated $532.5 million worldwide to set a new high-water mark for an opening weekend.
The long-running series, now in its eighth installment, got a big boost from foreign crowds. The action thriller earned $432.3 million internationally after bowing in 63 foreign markets. That helped offset declining domestic results. "The Fate of the Furious" opened to $100.2 million in North America, a sharp drop from the $147.2 million opening of "Furious 7."
It's a sign that a franchise built around muscle cars and odes to the importance of family is growing more global in scope. If it wants to continue to expand its audience as it inevitably ticks through future sequels, the series will need to keep building a fan base in places like China.
To that end, the Middle Kingdom turbocharged results. "Fate" racked up a massive $190 million in the Asian country, setting records for both the biggest three-day opening weekend ever in China and the top debut for a Hollywood film in the country. It is worth noting, however, that Hollywood studios only take in 25% of Chinese ticket sales, roughly half of what they earn in most major markets.
The sequel also performed well in Mexico, where it earned $17.8 million, the United Kingdom and Ireland with $17 million, Russia with $14.1 million, Germany with $13.6 million, and Brazil with $12.8 million.
Of course, "The Fate of the Furious" can't just be a hit. It has to be a blockbuster. All that vehicular destruction cost an estimated $250 million to put on screen.
With "The Fate of the Furious," the "Fast and Furious" series has now earned $4.4 billion worldwide, making it easily the most successful franchise in Universal's history.