Universal’s “F9” has now earned the highest global opening weekend for a Hollywood film since the start of the pandemic, grossing $162 million from 8 markets this weekend including $135 million in China.
That makes the “Fast & Furious” franchise the sixth in box office history to reach $6 billion in lifetime grosses, largely off of a launch in China that came with the most expansive marketing campaign for a “F&F” film ever in the country that yielded the second-highest Chinese opening ever for Universal. Only “The Fate of the Furious” in 2017 earned a higher opening with $184.9 million.
During the pandemic, a few Hollywood films opened in China, posting modest theatrical runs. Among them was Disney/Pixar’s “Soul” with $58 million and Warner Bros.’ “Tenet” with $66 million. But “F9” has not only doubled the total Chinese runs of those films but has also become the first Hollywood film since “Avengers: Endgame” two years ago to post a $100 million-plus opening in the country.
Along with China, the film earned $9.9 million in Korea, $6.2 million in the Middle East, $8.2 million in Russia and $2.4 million in Hong Kong; totals that are all the highest for their respective markets since the start of the pandemic. The film’s total also includes $12.4 million from IMAX, which is the second-highest total ever for the format from a May release. The only May release with a higher IMAX total is “Captain America: Civil War,” which was released in 26 more countries than “F9” on its opening weekend.
While this start still leaves “F9” with a long path to reach $1 billion worldwide, Universal is hoping that other countries will have recovered enough from COVID-19 that theater restrictions will loosen by the time the film expands in June. The film is set for a U.S. release on June 25 and will be released in major European territories in early July.