‘Fast and Furious’ a Speed Demon on Friday

Fast and Furious left even the loftiest of expectations in the dust with an absolutely staggering $30.1 million debut on Friday (with some reports as high as $32 million). This marks the largest opening day ever for any film during the industry’s off-season which runs from January-April and September-October. It also marks the highest opening day ever for a Universal Studios production, eclipsing The Bourne Ultimatum‘s opening day by 23%. Fast and Furious also blew past 2 Fast 2 Furious‘ opening day by 53%, the previous largest opening day of the franchise.

The fourth entry in the popular street racing franchise benefited immensely from reuniting all four of the principal cast members that powered the original The Fast and the Furious to a strong run in theaters back in 2001. The marketing team made this clear in their ad campaign and also wisely emphasized the high-octane races, which has consistently worked in the past.

There’s no doubt that Fast and Furious will be front loaded, but a weekend total in the $72-75 million range is still likely. That would be the largest opening weekend since The Dark Knight, even drifting higher than the vampire phenomenon, Twilight. We’ll know more on Sunday when the official studio estimates are released.

Box Office Data Source: Box Office Mojo