"Furious 7" put the pedal to the metal in its opening weekend, grossing an estimated $144 million at the domestic box office, and leaving the competition -- and few records -- in its dust.
The action film picked up another $240 million overseas, for a weekend haul of $384 million, setting a new franchise record while also unseating "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" to claim the largest April opening and the ninth-largest premiere of all time. And, as Box Office Mojo notes, "Furious 7" hasn't even opened yet in China, Japan or Russia; expect the film to cross the $1 billion mark before it runs out of gas.
The Hollywood Reporter digs into the audience demographics, pointing out that 75 percent of the people in North America who watched the movie this weekend were non-Caucasian, a testament to the appeal of "Furious 7's" ethnically diverse cast. In addition, 44 percent of viewers were under age 25.
"The importance of diversity of the ensemble cast in the Fast and Furious franchise has been an integral part of the success of the brand," according to Rentrak box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "There is literally someone within the cast that is relatable on some level to nearly every moviegoer around the world, and this has paid big dividends at the box office and also in terms of how casting decisions will be made in the future for these types of large-scale action epics."
Directed by James Wan, “Furious 7" stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Elsa Pataky, Lucas Black, Jason Statham, Djimon Hounsou, Tony Jaa, Ronda Rousey, Nathalie Emmanuel and Kurt Russell.