‘Furious 7’: The road to $1.15 billion at the box office

by LP Green, II

Nineteen days. That’s all it took for “Furious 7” to become Universal Pictures’ highest grossing release worldwide in its 103-year history.

According to studio estimates, the film’s international gross reached an estimated $858.3 million in 67 territories on Sunday. Combined with the $294.4 million domestic haul, the film has pulled in a whopping $1.15 billion in ticket sales.

“Jurassic Park” had been the studio’s record holder, grossing $1.04 billion globally. The box office haul includes the grosses from the film’s 1993 launch as well as its re-release in 2011 in the U.K. and 3D re-release in 2013.

“Furious 7” was speeding to success before it even came out, with fervent fans counting down until the release of the latest film in the beloved franchise.

Directed by James Wan, the film cost Universal about $190 million to make. It takes an ensemble including Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson and Michelle Rodriguez from London to Los Angeles, Tokyo, the Dominican Republic and Abu Dhabi.

After the death of Walker midway through production, the studio completed his remaining scenes using computer effects and Walker’s brothers Caleb and Cody as stand-ins.

The result: positive reviews that, coupled with a strong franchise fan base, have inspired moviegoers to see the film more than once.

The film received an A grade from audience polling firm CinemaScore. Critics were almost as warm, giving the film a solid 82% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

At the film’s Los Angeles premiere this month, hoards of fans waited for hours to see the franchise stars. Many carried mementos from the films, including model cars and posters, hoping to get them signed.

Overseas, the franchise has also grown into a phenomenon, helped by the diverse cast and a variety of global settings.

“Furious 7” has become the highest grossing film ever released in Indonesia, Malaysia, THE United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

The surge in popularity has been especially pronounced in China, where the film grossed an estimated $93.3 million this weekend for an eight-day total of $250.5 million. That makes it the second-highest grossing American film ever in China behind “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which pulled in $320 million last year.

By Saba Hamedy
(c)2015 the Los Angeles Times
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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