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Fast & Furious 6 to Boast Biggest Franchise Debut?

Fast & Furious 6 Dwayne Johnson
Fast & Furious 6 with Dwayne Johnson.

Fast & Furious 6 weekend box office: Biggest Fast and Furious domestic opening ever?

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Fast & Furious 6 will easily top Memorial Day weekend at the North American box office. According to studio estimates found at, the Justin Lin-directed action thriller featuring Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, and Jordana Brewster earned $38.2 million at 3,658 locations on Friday – including $6.5 million from 2,409 late Thursday and midnight screenings.

Comparison to Fast Five

Reportedly budgeted at $160 million, Universal’s Fast & Furious 6 will in all likelihood boast the biggest opening weekend ever of any Fast and Furious movie. In its first three days out in late April 2011, Fast Five scored $86.2 million from 3,644 locations. Fast & Furious 6 could easily reach $92–$95 million and possibly go as high as $100+ million by Sunday evening. For the four-day haul, Fast & Furious 6 could rake in $120 million.

Is Fast & Furious 6 on its way to becoming a major blockbuster? Undeniably so. But let’s put things a little in perspective: When Fast Five opened, there was no Monday holiday – hence, no inflated pre-holiday Sunday box office revenues. Also, Fast Five didn’t have the luxury of late evening Thursday screenings, and even its midnight shows were held at about half the number of theaters showing Fast & Furious 6.

Also directed by Justin Lin, Fast Five ultimately earned $416.3 million internationally vs. a considerably more modest $209.8 million in North America. Fast & Furious 6 will quite possibly surpass its predecessor both domestically and internationally. Outside North America, the latest Fast and Furious is expected to collect $169 million by Sunday evening as per Proof-positive that moviegoers the world over are hungry for original stories and characters.

And as I’ve said before: without the international market, Hollywood movies such as Fast & Furious 6 would either never get made or be drastically downsized.

Fast & Furious 6 cast

Besides Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, and Jordana Brewster, the Fast & Furious 6 cast includes Avatar‘s Michelle Rodriguez, Transformers: Dark of the Moon‘s Tyrese Gibson, Elsa Pataky, Luke Evans, Sung Kang, Ludacris, Gina Carano, Clara Paget, Gal Gadot, Matthew Stirling, Johannes Taslim, and, in a small supporting role, Keep the Lights On‘s Thure Lindhardt. Of note: More people probably saw Fast & Furious 6 at a midnight show in Detroit than the acclaimed Keep the Lights On during its entire run.

Frequent Fast and Furious contributor Chris Morgan (also of the Angelina Jolie thriller Wanted and the upcoming 47 Ronin) is credited for the Fast & Furious 6 screenplay.

May 25

Fast & Furious 6 box office: Franchise’s best opening ever?

Fast & Furious 6 will easily top the North American box office on Friday, May 24. According to very early, very rough estimates found at, the Justin Lin-directed action thriller starring Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, and Vin Diesel, should collect $35 million at 3,658 locations – including $6.5 million from late Thursday and midnight screenings. For comparison’s sake: Fast Five, which opened in late April 2011, earned $3.8 million at midnight screenings.

Oh, but wait. Fast & Furious 6 had the advantage of late-Thursday, pre-midnight screenings, and although the latest Fast and Furious movie is clearly ahead of its predecessor, we’re comparing melons and watermelons here. That’s much like claiming that Fast & Furious 6 will have by far the biggest opening ever of a Fast and Furious movie – when we’re including not only late Thursday showings, but Monday box office returns as well. If it sounds absurd to compare the box office take of a three-day opening to that of a four-day-and-a-quarter opening – well, it’s because it is.

The Hangover Part III box office

Really, even Todd Phillips’ critically lambasted The Hangover Part III, reuniting Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis, may score up to $70 million by Monday evening, after collecting an estimated $14 million on Friday, following $11.6 million on Thursday (including $3.1 million from Wednesday night showings).

Certainly a modest box office take compared to The Hangover Part II ($135 million in five days) but still an opening weekend infinitely better than those of most movies out there, no matter how good their reviews or original their stories and characters.

Dwayne Johnson Fast & Furious 6 movie image: Universal Pictures.

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