The Fast and the Furious, the film that started it all, will receive a limited release in about 1,500 theaters to celebrate the pic’s 15th anniversary on Wednesday, June 22. That’s the date when the Rob Cohen-directed movie opened in 2001. Universal made the news official this morning just as tickets are hitting the Fandango sales board.
The Fast and the Furious was a surprise hit back in the summer 2001, starring a cast of largely unknowns. Prior to The Fast and the Furious, Vin Diesel was turning heads in such movies as Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan and the sci-fi cult title Pitch Black. Michelle Rodriguez was a rising fresh face, hot off the Sundance Film Festival hit Girlfight. The late Paul Walker was establishing his footing on the teen scene with roles in such late-’90s fare as Varsity Blues, Pleasantville and The Skulls.
The Fast and the Furious opened to $40M at No. 1, ultimately grossing $144.5M at the domestic B.O. and $207.3M worldwide. Across seven titles, the series has chalked up $3.9B at the global B.O. The highest-grossing title in the franchise was last year’s Furious 7, which minted $1.5B worldwide to become the No. 4 film of all time (it’s No. 6 now, having been passed by Jurassic World and Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Fast 8 will open on April 14.
Deadline hears that there’s a big response from exhibitors for the The Fast and the Furious re-release. Typically during the summer, exhibs will show classic films at discount prices, filling their auditoriums to the brim. No word yet on whether there will be additional, never-before-seen content in the movie.
“While we had the Back to the Future re-release synced to the day when Marty McFly and Doc Brown went back to the future on October 21, 2015, with The Fast and the Furious this is a case where it’s been 15 years and seven movies later,” said Universal distribution chief Nick Carpou, “The fanbase has grown exponentially, particularly in the social media age and the re-release provides an opportunity for the most recent generation of fans to experience the first film on the big screen for the first time.”
Said series producer Neal H. Moritz in a statement: “All of us who make the Fast and Furious movies know we are part of a family that spreads all around the world, and we are happy to invite our fans to revisit where it all began back on the big screen. While we are hard at work making No. 8, we are thankful to take this moment and celebrate the original that started us off.”