The Fate of the Furious (or Fast and Furious 8) has predictably dominated the global box office over the weekend taking a massive $532 million.
Grossing $98.7 Million from US audiences, the latest entry in the franchise is a long way off from 2015's Furious 7 that launched with a record-breaking $147 million, but it more than made up the shortfall with a supercharged performance internationally. The global haul was enough to surpass Star War The Force Awakens launch of $529 million back in December 2015 and has now set a new world record.
The Fast and Furious movies started life as a street racing spin on Point Break, a Vin Diesel free sequel (the unforgivably named 2 Fast 2 Furious) and a Toyko centred spin-off had milked the concept for all it was worth. Or so we thought. Justin Lin reunited the original cast for 2009's Fast and Furious, and then the franchise shifted gear for part five and added Dwayne Johnson into the mix.
After being reduced to an extended cameo for Furious 7 (owing to scheduling conflicts), it was great to see Johnson given a bigger role this time round even if the absence of Paul Walker was keenly felt. Each passing sequel has upped the insane vehicular action, and the box office receipts have reflected what fans want to see from this franchise. It might have morphed into a James Bond/Mission Impossible hybrid, but the Fast and Furious movies offer pure escapism, and the latest entry delivers on the dumb fun in all the right places.
Universal have already put dates in the diary for two more sequels, and tentative plans for a Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) centric spin-off have been discussed along with other potential offshoots of the franchise. I can't be the only one that wants to see Jason Statham's Deckard Shaw and Hobbs develop their budding onscreen bromance in their own movie.
Fast and Furious 8 is out now in cinemas.