The eighth installment of the “Fast & Furious” franchise is on pace to set a box office record in its opening weekend, though it isn’t getting much help from the U.S. market.
Based on early estimations, “The Fate of the Furious” is expected to set a new record for ticket sales, surpassing the previous benchmark of $529 million set by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” according to Reuters. The movie’s early success in China is helping make up for underwhelming numbers in the domestic market.
In the first two days of screening, “The Fate of the Furious” racked up $135 million in sales in China, though, unlike in other markets, only 25 percent of that will go to Universal Pictures.
The movie has severely under-performed stateside, surpassing the $100-million mark by just $200,000, despite experts predicting it would blow past that. By contrast, “Furious 7,” which served as a tribute to Paul Walker, who died in a car crash before filming was completed, raked in $147.2 million in its first weekend.
Based on the huge disparity between this installment’s opening numbers and “Furious 7’s,” American fans seemingly have become disinterested with the franchise. Given Walker’s key role, it might have made more sense for the franchise to cap its run at seven films, as the previous movie made for a fitting emotional ending to the series.