The Fate of the Furious is on-course to enjoy a massive opening weekend take; one that may reach $400 million (or higher) at the global box office. Already, this year has had its fair share of movies hit it big at the box office, with films like Logan, Kong: Skull Island and Beauty and the Beast all making an impact both critically and financially. Now, as 2017 barrels towards its summer season, the next film set to truly kick that off is Universal’s eighth and clearly largest installment in the now 16-year-long Fast & Furious franchise.
Directed by F. Gary Gray, The Fate of the Furious changes the dynamic of the previous seven films in one notable way, with Vin Diesel’s Dom betraying his family, to join up with Charlize Theron’s villainous cyber terrorist, Cypher. Burned immensely by Dom’s betrayal, Hobbs (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) personally heads up the effort to take Dom in and force him to atone for his sins, in what looks to be some of the biggest and fastest action sequences in the franchise’s history.
It looks like The Fate of the Furious may live up to that promise at the box office as well. Deadline is currently projecting that the film will open somewhere between $375 and $440 million worldwide at the box office this weekend, possibly racing past the $397.7 million that its predecessor, Furious 7, scored when it opened back in April of 2015. If it does manage to live up to or exceed that $400 million window too, then The Fate of the Furious will also be Universal’s second-biggest global box office opener of all time, just behind the $525 million that Jurassic World scored in 2015.
It’s important to note that while The Fate of the Furious is coming at a time when it feels like the franchise has never been more popular, there are a number of factors that could result in the eighth installment performing lower than its predecessor at the box office, in the long run. The first and foremost being the absence of the late Paul Walker, whose sendoff in Furious 7 was one of the film’s biggest draws for both diehard fans and casual moviegoers everywhere. It’ll be interesting then, to see how Walker’s absence may or may not affect the overall box office totals of The Fate of the Furious moving forward.
It’s also important to note that early responses to the film have been somewhat mixed so far, with the film not garnering as much universal praise as some of the franchise’s more recent outings, like 2015’s Furious 7 or 2011’s Fast Five. There’s no telling, of course, if that will actually affect the box office success of The Fate of the Furious or not, but it throws an interesting variable into the mix. Especially since The Fate of the Furious, really, is just the last stop before 2017 kicks it into high gear with its “official” summer season for the next several months.