The Fate of the Furious crossed the $1 billion mark at the international box office Sunday, a number that far outweighs the film's domestic take. The Fast and Furious franchise has generally been lucrative since it kicked off in 2000, but as the series has grown and the likes of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham have joined the Vin Diesel-led series, there's been a dramatic rise in interest from international audiences.
The first sign of the film's massive global appeal came in Fast & Furious 6, with $550 million of its final worldwide take of its $788.6 million came from foreign territories alone. Stacked with an international cast and action taking place on different continents, Furious 7 more than doubled its foreign take with $1.16 billion in ticket sales (with additional $353 million coming from the domestic box office); and the latest film in the franchise, The Fate of the Furious, is clearly continuing the trend.
According to Variety, The Fate of the Furious took in $3.3 million from 41 territories this past weekend, which was enough push the film's foreign grosses over the $1 billion mark. It's a stellar achievement, considering it's only sixth film in history to achieve that landmark in foreign theaters alone, behind Avatar ($2 billion), Titanic ($1.5 billion), Furious 7 ($1.165 billion) Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($1.131 billion), and Jurassic World ($1.019 billion).
Released in April, The Fate of the Furious roared out of the gate with a record-setting first weekend global gross of more than $530 million (adjusted downward from initial estimates of $532 million), besting the $529 million mark set by Star Wars: The Force Awakens in its opening frame in 2015. By all indications, The Fate of the Furious' international success is being driven by Chinese audiences. The high-octane action film old more than $190 million worth of tickets in China in its first weekend alone, and its running take of $387.4 million has already set the record for the highest-grossing foreign film of all time there.
But while the size of the audience continues to increase in China and other foreign territories, the numbers appear to be dropping dramatically on the domestic front. While Furious 7 posted a series high $353 million in domestic ticket sales, The Fate of the Furious, which dropped out of the top 10 at the domestic box office this week, has a running total of $222.7 million.
While domestic audiences may be suffering from sequel fatigue, don't expect the Fast and Furious franchise to go away anytime soon, especially since it just busted the international $1 billion barrier. The key, of course, will be to keep the core cast together, especially in light of the well-documented feud between Johnson and Diesel on the set of Fate. It's not just Fast 9 either, with Johnson and Statham's great chemistry leading to plans of a Hobbs and Deckard spinoff. There's no slowing the franchise down yet.