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

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"The "Furious" franchise perfectly represents what that global audience is all about".

UNIVERSAL'S "The Fate of the Furious" achieved victory in the Chinese film market in the week ending April 16, with record high ticket sales of 1.3 billion yuan (US$189 million), China Film News reported. At the time of his message, final box-office tallies weren't yet known, but he was right in assuming that the film - in which Johnson manhandles a speeding submarine torpedo - was on its way to a historic debut.

Known as "Fate of the Furious" in the USA and "Fast and Furious 8" in most foreign countries, the latest installment of Comcast Corp.'s CMCSA, -0.40% Universal Pictures' action-adventure franchise opened to an estimated $532.5 million around the world this weekend.

"The Fate of the Furious", starring Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, also broke an global box office record previously held by "Jurassic World", bringing in a whopping $432.3 million overseas.

"Furious 7" ultimately posted the best opening weekend figure of "The Fast and the Furious" series in the USA, with $143.6 million compared to "Fast & Furious 6's" $97.4 million.

It is the first film in the franchise not to star Paul Walker, who died in a auto accident in 2013.

An estimated $100.2 million of the global total comes from 4,310 North American theaters - a second best for the franchise and enough to easily top the domestic charts, but well below the $147.2 million opening of "Furious 7" in 2015.

The rest of the chart looked sleepy in comparison to the fresh fuel of "The Fate of the Furious".

"The Boss Baby" took second place with an estimated $15.5 million, followed by Disney's "Beauty and the Beast", with $13.6 million. Despite the rising costs, the film remains on pace to top $1 billion worldwide, making more sequels a certainty.

Rounding out the top five were "Smurfs: The Lost Village" with $6.5 million and "Going in Style" with $6.4 million. Fantasy film "Ghost in The Shell", based on a Japanese animation, took third place with 47 million yuan.

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