MONDAY UPDATE: With actuals now in, Universal blockbuster Furious 7 has a confirmed $245.05M in the tank from overseas play in 63 markets this frame. That number raises Sunday’s projected octane by about $5M, and with a better-than-estimated domestic gross, the global box office is now $391.6M. Mexico currently leads individual markets, coming in higher than estimated, at $21.5M, and followed by the UK with $18.7M. Those figures and more on the year’s biggest opener have been updated throughout the below. For weekend box office on the other major titles playing offshore, see my full international box office report. F7 puts the pedal to the metal in Russia on Thursday and in China on Sunday as it continues lapping the global track.
2ND SUNDAY UPDATE, 11 AM PT… More detail added: Overseas audiences went mad for Furious 7 this weekend giving the high-octane Universal actioner a $245.05M start on 10,683 international screens — the biggest opening of 2015. This is the studio’s best offshore debut weekend ever, outpacing previous record holder Fast & Furious 6‘s $162M by 48.4%. That figure doesn’t include F&F6‘s initial UK opening (it bowed a week ahead of the global rollout in 2013), but if it did, F7 would still hold pole position by 37.2% — even more impressive given the major exchange rate fluctuations in various currencies since. Along with the $146.5M domestic gross, F7 has worldwide cume of $391.6M coming out of its first frame.
Saturday’s gross was $61.1M at 10,005 dates in 63 territories. In keeping with a driving trend for F7 in its start off the block this frame, Saturday is now Universal Pictures International’s highest-grossing Saturday of all time. Vin Diesel and crew set similar records on Thursday and Friday; and many markets saw jumps throughout the five-day frame.
F7, directed by James Wan and produced by Neal Moritz and Diesel, was No. 1 in each of the 64 global territories where it bowed. In 29 offshore plays it is the biggest opening weekend of all time, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Malaysia, Mexico, Middle East, Romania, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam. Myriad other records were guzzled up by this latest in the franchise that features a bevy of returning stars and an emotional farewell to the late Paul Walker.
Released as Fast & Furious 7 overseas, the film is the 3rd highest-grossing international opening weekend of all time behind Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($314M) and Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($260.4M).
Globally, F7 revved up the 4th biggest opening in history behind Deathly Hallows ($483.2M), Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince ($394.4M) and The Avengers ($392.5M).
With $20.8M globally, IMAX had SRO sell-outs around the world in what is the company’s best-ever April opening. At $7.5M on 175 international screens, F7 blew past previous title holder Captain America: The Winter Soldier which earned $6.43M last year. F7 was a 2D release in North America, but went out in 3D in select overseas markets which boosted per-screen IMAX results in Argentina ($107K), Hong Kong ($67K), and Colombia ($43K). The 2D per-screen IMAX highlights include Egypt ($84K), the Netherlands ($80K), Australia ($61K), and France ($56K). Next weekend, when F7 hits Russia on Thursday and China on Sunday, IMAX is adding another 250 screens.
In overall market breakdowns, Mexico was at the high-end with $21.5M at 685 dates, followed by the UK/Ireland with $18.7M at 537 dates. Rounding out the top earners were Germany ($15.9M/650), France ($11.4M/707), Brazil ($11.4M/551), Australia ($11.3M/255), Taiwan ($10.3M/80 dates), Argentina ($9.3M/162), Korea ($8.9M/333), Italy ($8.2M/470), Malaysia ($7.3M/194), Spain ($6.3M/358), Venezuela ($6M/65), Thailand ($6M/60), Colombia ($5.2M/161) and UAE ($4.8M).
Of particular note in the above rundowns are a staggering $128,750 per-screen average in Taiwan (8 screens were IMAX), along with huge PSAs in Thailand ($100K), Argentina ($57,407) and Australia ($44,313K).
In other global records, F7 is the best April bow ever; the top Easter opening; and the best for all cast and filmmakers.
Already outpacing F&F6 by about 50% abroad, F7 raced past the overseas lifetime totals of the first quartet of films in the franchise including 2009’s Fast And Furious ($208M).
It has an essentially wide open track at global multiplexes over the next few weeks until The Avengers: Age Of Ultron bows. In order to overtake F&F6 internationally, F7 needs to hit $550M on the speedometer. The next bows will be ones to watch — Russia was F&F6‘s No. 4 international market at $34.1M and the Middle Kingdom was F&F6‘s top offshore play at $67M. Japan will be last to open on April 17.
SATURDAY UPDATE, 9:30 AM PT: As it burns rubber at the domestic box office on its way to a possible $150M weekend, Furious 7’s offshore tally has roared to $120.6M in its first three days. Adding 20 more markets on Friday, it is now playing in 63 internationally. It has opened No. 1 everywhere and added $59.2M at 9,935 dates on Friday. That was after it took $43M at 8,407 on Thursday. The high-octane blockbuster now holds the record as Universal Pictures International’s highest-grossing Thursday and Friday ever.
In 40 of its current 63 territories, F7 is the studio’s biggest opening day of all time. Along with such key markets as Brazil, Germany and Mexico, which set the record earlier in the week, those now include the UK, Malaysia, and Turkey among several others.
Heading into this frame, sources noted that international tracking is difficult with a lot of noise around a brand that has so much equity. Industry estimates had F7‘s foreign bow in a wide range from $125M-$160M. The low end of that range is now in the rearview mirror. In dollar terms, F7‘s performance is notable given the roughly 15% shift in exchange rates between many foreign currencies and the greenback in the past year.
An apples-to-apples comparison with 2013’s Fast & Furious 6 is tough given that movie hit the starting line first in the UK before a global push the following week. Combining the UK’s $13.2M and the next frame’s $162M would make the opening number to beat internationally $175.2M. And that included Russia and its $18M bow, whereas F7 doesn’t get to Russia until April 9. F&F6 ultimately filled its offshore tank with $550M.
Looking at other previous installments, F7 has already bested the the international lifetime totals of The Fast And The Furious ($62.9M), 2 Fast 2 Furious ($109M) and The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift ($96M).
F7 is benefiting from roughly 445 international IMAX plays where it is seeing sell-outs and setting records in individual markets. The top IMAX opening days ever have now been clocked in Austria, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Kenya, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Trinidad. The UK/Ireland gave the big screens their biggest Friday ever in the territory yesterday.
F7 has yet to rev its engines in five more markets. The Philippines bows today followed by Russia on April 9, Poland on April 10, China on April 12 and Japan on April 17. China was the top ex-U.S. play for F&F6 at $67M, followed by the UK at $38.5M, Mexico at $36.6M, Russia at $34.1M and Germany at $29.7M. Tomorrow, we’ll have breakdowns of the business so far in the markets where F7 sped out this frame.
1ST UPDATE, FRIDAY, 11:30 AM PT: Furious 7 is off to a wildly fast start at the international box office, driving up a cume of $60M in two days. The Universal actioner added 33 offshore markets on Thursday to bring the total to 45. Thursday was worth $43M at 8,407 dates with No. 1s across the board and several records set. First up, that haul is Universal Pictures International’s highest-grossing Thursday ever, blowing past Fast & Furious 6’s $25.5M.
Overseas, the well-reviewed pic that’s helmed by James Wan is going out as Fast & Furious 7. On Thursday, it revved up the biggest opening day of all time in 15 territories including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, India, Indonesia and the Middle East.
Tracking well ahead of Fast & Furious 6, it is the best debut of any film in the Fast franchise in each territory. And, in 25 territories including such key markets as Australia, Brazil, Germany, Italy and Mexico, it is the studio’s top opening day ever.
F7, which has 18 markets yet to release, will pass the international lifetime of The Fast And The Furious today. The 2001 franchise-starter made $62.9M overseas.
PREVIOUS THURSDAY PM PT: Furious 7 officially hit 12 international markets on Wednesday to pace an average of 60% bigger numbers than Fast & Furious 6 in those same plays. The latest installment in the franchise grossed $10.2M in its official release dates and $16.9M including previews in 22 additional markets. It was No. 1 in every territory and scored the highest opening day for the series internationally. Helping to boost this super-charged debut is the benefit more than 800 IMAX theaters, with about 445 of those big screens playing internationally. IMAX says its their widest global day and date release ever.
The majority of overseas markets for the latest in the franchise breaks on April 3rd with 51 more territories going day-and-date with the U.S., which will have 365 domestic IMAX screens. So all in, it will be in 60+ markets on anywhere from 12,000 to 14,000 screens.
Market breakdowns see F7 (which is playing as Fast & Furious 7 overseas) leading in Germany off the mark at $2.6M compared to F&F6‘s $1.4M opening, followed by France at $2.5M versus $1.9M on Wednesday for the earlier film. Other big starts off the block include Thailand ($1.3M v $816K), Korea ($972K v $619K), Peru ($520K v $379K), Switzerland ($416K v $62K) and Austria ($412K v $231K). Those are all dollar comparisons.
In total, Bolivia, Indonesia, Peru, Thailand and Trinidad, enjoyed the biggest opening day ever for all films with F7. Universal’s actioner that features a bevy of returning stars and a farewell to Paul Walker is also the biggest opening day of all time in those territories for the late star as well as Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Neal Moritz.
It won’t bow in Russia until April 9, China on April 12 and Japan will be the last market to bow on April 17. Universal is rolling out F7 differently as Russia was one of the first markets to bow for F&F6 in 2013.
The studio found a ripe time to bow as there is nothing to really distract from international audiences until Avengers: Age of Ultron arrives into theaters weeks later.