Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, officially premiered in theaters today and is all set to dominate the box office. While not every film in the series has been a huge hit, each has more than earned back its budget. The past few films, however, have been massive global hits thanks to the diverse, all-star cast and practical and eye-catching stunts. And though Furious 7 was almost left unfinished after the death of star Paul Walker, the cast and crew rallied and rewrote the ending to serve as a sendoff for the actor and character.

Given the specifics of the last film, Fate was never likely to top its predecessor. Still, it’s expected to be one of the biggest hits of the year. Early estimates have the film earning $400 million globally on its opening weekend. With close to half a billion in its first few days, that could set Universal Pictures up for a nice payday when all is said and done. And while we’ll have to wait until next week to know the final tally, things are already looking good.

Like most films nowadays, Fate of the Furious screened early across the world in various evening showings last night. While the domestic total hasn’t yet been counted, Deadline is reporting that the film is likely to pull in $9–11 million in Thursday screenings. That would put it at or above Logan‘s Thursday haul, which is impressive considering it was Hugh Jackman’s last turn as the popular character. Variety, meanwhile, have the numbers for Fate in China and they’re even more encouraging. After posting strong pre-sale numbers, the Thursday total for the film is at almost $44 million.

Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson in The Fate of the Furious Fate of the Furious Enjoys Big Global Opening at Thursday Box Office

Once the final domestic numbers come in and the film opens in other markets, we’ll be able to get a better picture of the film’s performance. Still, it looks like it’s all set to match or exceed the global estimates. That’s made all the more impressive by the fact that the reviews have been middling – including our own take on the film – when compared to some of the earlier installments.

Overall, the film seems to lack the punch of some of its predecessors. Then again, not every Fast movie has done well with critics, and it’s never hurt at the box office. As with most action movies, critical opinion doesn’t mean all that much. When it comes to an established and popular franchise, reviews can mean even less to fans already dedicated to the property. While it may not top Furious 7, all signs are pointing towards a very successful weekend for Universal and the cast and crew of Fate of the Furious.

Source: Deadline and Variety

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