FRIDAY UPDATE: Fast & Furious 6 scored the highest ever opening day for Universal in the global box office after taking in $53.4 million from 34 markets. It is the highest opening day for any film in the Fast & Furious franchise. The film will be released in 24 additional territories today.
SUNDAY UPDATE: Fast & Furious 6 is the #1 film in the U.K. after grossing $13.8 million over the weekend. It is the best opening weekend performance for the Fast & Furious franchise in that territory and represents the biggest weekend in the U.K. for stars Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The latest entry in the franchise trounced competition from the second weekend of Star Trek Into Darkness ($5.8M) and the debut of The Great Gatsby ($6.4M). The U.K. is the only market where Fast & Furious 6 is currently playing. The film will open in North America and various other overseas markets next weekend.
FAST & FURIOUS 6 opened Friday, May 17 in the U.K. and Ireland and set a new record for Universal's highest opening day of all time in that market. The film grossed $4.6M (£2.99M) at 462 dates shattering the record held by the fourth film in the franchise, FAST & FURIOUS which grossed $3.6M (£2.5M) on its opening day in 2009 (Good Friday). Today's result makes FAST & FURIOUS 6 the biggest opening day for the FAST & FURIOUS franchise in the U.K. and the second biggest opening of 2013, just $90K behind IRON MAN 3 (in 3D) $4.7M (£3.081M). It is also the highest opening day in this territory for Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson.
FAST 6 is No. 1 in the market with 56% market share. THE GREAT GATSBY opened Thursday and grossed an estimated $2.6M (£1.7M) in 2 days.
For comparison, FAST & FURIOUS 6 is bigger than:
INCEPTION $2.6M (£1.7M)
STAR TREK: INTO DARKENSS $2.7M (£1.8M)
IRON MAN 2 $2.8M (£1.8M)
FAST FIVE $2.8M ((£1.8M)
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN $2.8M (£1.8M)
TED $3M (£2.1M)
TRANSFORMERS: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON: $3.5M (£2.2M)
FAST & FURIOUS 6 is set in London and had its global premiere in London so an initial opening in the U.K. was fitting for this installment in Universal's homegrown franchise. The film opens on Friday, May 24 in North American and day and date in 59 international territories.
Chris, the 5 year-old screenwriter cited by The Onion as the screenwriter for Fast Five, claimed in a 2011 interview that the Fast & Furious franchise had enough material for 600 sequels. The satirical clip might be on to something after Fast & Furious 6 opened at the U.K. box office last week with $13.2 million ahead of this weekend's global day-and-date expansion.
The Fast & Furious franchise is a perfect example of how today's blockbuster films are developed with global box office numbers in mind. The original cast was reunited in 2009 with Fast and Furious after an international spin-off, 2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, failed to gain any significant traction. With the pieces in place and renewed popular interest, Universal set out to retool the franchise -molding it into a global heist thriller; the obnoxious, loud patrimony derived from the comparatively compact and effete legacy of The Italian Job (1969).
The focus of the films went from the niche world of street racing to the more accessible heist thrillers that can pull in a wider audience by including action sequences and higher narrative stakes. The franchise embraced the globetrotting exoticism that adorns James Bond films by setting the fifth entry in Brazil, with a vibrant soundtrack and marketing campaign to match the allure of Rio de Janeiro. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson joined the cast to add global box office clout to the film's star power.
The previous entry in the franchise grossed a series-best $628 million globally, including an eye-opening $418.7 million take. Fast & Furious 6 has the potential to be one of the summer's biggest hits and has its sights set on a $500 million overseas cume. Whether or not it gets there will largely depend on the film's staying power. A market-leading opening weekend is all but assured, but the film will have to retain viewers through the coming weeks if it wants to meet the lofty expectations set by Fast Five.
The trailer for Fast & Furious 6 features exotic locales, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, a globe-trotting storyline, Vin Diesel saying "That's the deal: take it or leave it," explosions, men with big muscles wearing tight and/or sleeveless shirts, car chases, attractive women in short skirts, a tank, Ludacris, more car chases, Michelle Rodriguez asking if you believe in ghosts, and a car chasing an exploding airplane.
Fast & Furious 6 will open in North America and over 50 overseas markets throughout the weekend. The biggest performers out of the gate promise to be Russia, Brazil, and Mexico. Key markets like Australia, China, and South Korea are coming up later this summer.
Can 'Epic' Replicate the Success of 'The Croods?'
Epic expands beyond Latin America with a $19.9 million head start. The animated film will hit theaters across Europe and the Middle East this weekend, including key markets like France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Epic will become the first animated film to hit screens in the last two months for most territories, hoping to catch some of the windfall from the The Croods' $376 million overseas run.
Poor Reviews Won't Stop 'The Hangover Part III' in Australia and the U.K.
The Hangover Part III is opening in a handful of English-speaking territories this weekend, coinciding with the film's North American release. The Hangover Part III is the third (and reportedly final) entry/rehash in the trilogy about a group of grown men who wake up with headaches before going off on zany adventures that usually involve a zoo animal. Bad reviews have dampened some of the film's buzz heading into the weekend, a factor complicated by the previous entry's similarly poor critical reception. The Hangover Part III should be the frontrunner for the top spot in Australia and the U.K., benefiting from markets with few new comedies in release.
Fast & Furious 6 dominated the box office in the United Kingdom last weekend with a $13.2 million opening weekend across 462 screens. The film more than doubled the opening weekend gross of The Great Gatsby, which opened in 522 screens and only managed to take in $6.2 million. Star Trek Into Darkness saw a 57% slide from the competition by the new releases, bringing in $5.5 million over the weekend for a $23.7 million cume. Iron Man 3 ended the weekend with a $2.2 million take, bringing its UK cume to $52.2 million. The U.K. is one of the top five foreign markets for Iron Man 3 in its billion dollar run.
Box Office Results for the United Kingdom. May 17-19, 2013.
Animated films are as close to a guarantee as you can get from the Mexican box office. The $3.5 million opening weekend for Epic is the latest proof Mexican audiences' fascination for animated films. Epic was the first film to knock down Iron Man 3 from the top spot at the Mexican box office, relegating the superhero film to second place with a $1.9 million weekend and a $46 million total gross. Star Trek Into Darkness fell 45% in its second week to take third place with a $1.4 million weekend. The Star Trek sequel isn't the big ticket in Mexico than it is in other territories but has been outperforming its predecessor over the same time-period in the market. Star Trek Into Darkness has a $5.3 million cume in Mexico. Nosotros Los Nobles, the domestic class comedy with a joint distribution deal with Warner Brothers, had another successful weekend in release, grossing $1.1 million over its eighth weekend. Nosotros Los Nobles is the highest grossing domestic film of all time in Mexico, currently posting a $28.3 million cume. The Call, The Last Exorcism 2, and Dead Man Down all failed to draw any significant interest in their opening weekends. The films didn't see a major release, but their respective per-screen averages might not be enough to maintain a competitive screen count in the coming weeks.
Box Office Results for Mexico. May 17-19, 2013.