I admit I’ve never put much stock in the Fast & Furious films. I missed the boat with the first movie, and since then it’s always just sort of been something in the background. I definitely acknowledge, though, that they’re doing something right with the franchise, because otherwise, there wouldn’t be nine of them, more if you count all the spin-offs. People like fast cars and things blowing up; it’s not that complicated, especially when there are only a handful of other movies to see in theaters right now.
The newest entry into the Fast & Furious franchise, F9: The Fast Saga, premiered over the weekend, and much like other movies that have come out in the last few months, it set a box office record with a $70 million domestic opening profit. F9 has not only brought in the biggest opening box office numbers since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, it’s also managed to set a respectable box office milestone in a vacuum, even beating out 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Putting all of the profits together, F9 has accrued about $405 million globally so far.
What a weekend for the big screen! Due to a gangbuster opening of @UniversalPics F9, 2.0 million people watched a movie in @AMCTheatres Thursday through Sunday in the U.S., and 2.5 million people did so at our theatres globally. Both RECORD NUMBERS since re-opening our theatres. pic.twitter.com/Q6RrgHZNvc
— Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) June 28, 2021
The release of F9 was originally scheduled for May 2020, but Universal made the call to put it on hold as soon as the pandemic started to escalate. This move, at the time, earned them no shortage of grief from fans, investors, and even their own staff.
“[Theaters] were quite upset with us because they thought that we were overreacting. Even people inside the company thought that we were a little crazy for doing it,” Donna Langley, chairwoman of Universal’s filmed entertainment group, told CNN Business back in December. “But we just felt that it was better to sort of plan for the worst and hope for the best.”