'Fate of the Furious' races to biggest global box office opening ever

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The eight instalment of the Fast & Furious movie franchise has already broken the record for the biggest global weekend ever, with $US432.3 million.

If the figures hold, it will inch just past the previous record holder, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", which launched at $529 million in December 2015 without China.

The film, which stars Vin Diesel and was directed by F. Gary Gray, is the highest-grossing opening for an African American director ever, according to Universal.

The eighth instalment of the action franchise, also known as Fast and Furious 8 in some territories, was always expected to make big money during its opening over Easter weekend (14-16Apr17).

"Beauty and the Beast" continued to draw viewers, earning $13.6 million in its fifth week out. More so, never underestimate the power of the Fast and Furious franchise.

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Universal Pictures has estimated the film will earn a record 532.5 million U.S. dollars (£425.2 million) worldwide over the holiday weekend, thanks to a particularly robust showing in 63 territories including China.

Sony's "Smurfs: The Lost Village" came in fourth with $6.5 million, pushing the animated film's North American total to an anemic $24.7 million.

The movie, which was internationally released on Friday, pulled in an estimated $532.5 million globally, Universal Pictures announced. In the seventh, nearly Dollars 300 million of cars were destroyed, including one of the most expensive cars in the world. By contrast, "Furious 7", which served as a tribute to Paul Walker, who died in a auto crash before filming was completed, raked in $147.2 million in its first weekend. It has grossed $23.4 million, almost matching its $24 million production budget.

Further episodes of Fast and Furious are planned for 2019 and 2021.

Back in the Top 10, Fox and DreamWorks Animation's The Boss Baby placed #2 with $15.5 million for a domestic take of $116.5-M and worldwide box office of $287.6-M. The Fate of the Furious continues the franchise without Walker, adding in series newcomers such as Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren'. However, it's still No. 1 in the country and should remain there over the next few weeks until Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 rocks the domestic box office with its projected $150 million debut.

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