The opening weekend box office results for Universal’s “Fast X” are mixed as the latest “Fast & Furious” film is performing like a franchise in decline in the U.S. but is still grossing quite well overseas.
After a $28 million opening day from 4,046 locations in North America, Universal is estimating a domestic opening of $67.2 million, in the middle of projections for a $65-73 million opening weekend. That’s below the $70 million opening weekend of its predecessor “F9,” which came out in June 2021 at a time when moviegoers were still in the midst of returning to theaters in significant numbers after the COVID-19 shutdown.
Much better news for “Fast X” is coming from international markets, where the film is estimated to make $252.6 million from 84 markets, higher than the $170 million overseas opening of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” and pushing the worldwide opening to $320 million. Excluding China, “Fast X” is performing 80% above “F9” internationally and is set to earn the third highest global launch in the franchise behind only “Furious 7” and “Fate of the Furious,” which both grossed over $1 billion worldwide.
“Fast X” needed that international surge to have any chance of earning a theatrical profit, as the film has a franchise-high $340 million production budget. The question now is whether the audience reception for the film will create the buzz “Fast X” needs to hold against competition like “The Little Mermaid” and “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” as the film received a B+ on CinemaScore — same as “F9” — to go with Rotten Tomatoes scores of 54% critics and 86% audience.
Meanwhile, Marvel Studios’ “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is continuing to show strong legs even in the face of “Fast & Furious” competition, with industry estimates projecting a $32.8 million third weekend. That is virtually the same third weekend total as “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” a year ago. Unlike that film, “Guardians Vol. 3” achieved it without the help of premium format surcharges.
“Guardians Vol. 3” will have a running domestic total of $267 million and is on pace for a final domestic total of $325-340 million.