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Record-Setting 'Furious 7' Scores Biggest Box Office Weekend Of 2015

Record-Setting 'Furious 7' Scores Biggest Box Office Weekend Of 2015

The latest installment of the "Fast and Furious" franchise has dethroned "50 Shades of Grey" for the honors of top domestic box office opening weekend of 2015. "Furious" 7 drew a whopping $143.6 million over Easter weekend. Both "Furious 7" and "50 Shades" have been big hits this year for Universal Studios and parent company Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA).

Setting Records

Not only did "Furious 7's" $143 million beat out "50 Shades'" $85 million opening weekend, it also shattered the previous all-time April opening weekend record held by Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS)'s "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," which drew $95 million during its 2014 April opening weekend.

In addition to beating out the competition, "Furious 7" also far surpassed the opening weekend numbers of "Fast & Furious 6" ($97.3 million), which had previously had the best domestic opening weekend of any movie in the franchise.

Other Big Numbers

"Furious 7's" domestic opening weekend fell just short of the $144 million domestic total that the first "Fast and the Furious" movie drew during its entire domestic run in 2001.

"Furious 7's" success was driven in part because of the diversity of its opening weekend audience: 37 percent of ticket buyers were Hispanic, 24 percent were African American, 10 percent were Asian and only 25 percent were white.

The movie was also a big hit with the youth crowd, as 44 percent of its audience was under the age of 25.

The death of franchise star Paul Walker late in 2013 also played a major role in the film's anticipation.

Fierce Competition

Universal's position in the top two opening weekend spots of 2015 is expected to be short-lived. Disney's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" will be released on May 1. "Age of Ultron" and Disney's "Star Wars Episode 7" (scheduled to open in December) both have realistic chances of becoming two of the highest-grossing films of all time.


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