"Furious 7" races to record $143.6m, could be biggest hit of series

Latest in car-chase franchise was most expensive but on course to be most profitable
Vin Diesel poses for photographers during a handprint and footprint ceremony honoringREUTERS/Phil McCarten

Bloomberg –“Furious 7” raced off the line in its box-office debut, setting a record for a movie opening in April.


The seventh film in the franchise from Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures collected $143.6 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Rentrak Corp. It’s the ninth-biggest weekend debut in box office history, according to preliminary figures provided by Rentrak. It was the only new wide release of the weekend.


Led by Vin Diesel and featuring the late Paul Walker, “Furious 7” is the rare tentpole in Hollywood that doesn’t rely on a superhero to carry the film. Despite a larger budget than the previous six in the car-chase action series, the latest installment is forecast to be the most profitable. It registered the biggest opening of the franchise, the biggest of any film in 2015, and beat the April record set last year by Walt Disney Co.’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”


“Home,” the animated family picture featuring the voices of Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Steve Martin, fell to second place in its second weekend in theaters. After a better than expected debut, it collected $27.4 million over the weekend for Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc. and the film’s distributor Twentieth Century Fox, the film unit of 21st Century Fox Inc.


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