18 Apr 2017

Fate of the Furious breaks global box office record

9:50 am on 18 April 2017

The Fate of the Furious has raced to the top of the box office chart - breaking an international record in the process.

Actors Tyrese Gibson, Nathalie Emmanuell, Vin Diesel and Ludacris attend the premiere of Universal Pictures' 'The Fate Of The Furious' at Radio City Music Hall on April 8, 2017 in New York City.

Actors Tyrese Gibson, left, Nathalie Emmanuell, Vin Diesel and Ludacris attend the premiere of 'The Fate Of The Furious'. Photo: AFP

The eighth film in the action thriller franchise took an estimated $US532.5m globally over Easter weekend.

The figure makes it the strongest worldwide debut ever - just overtaking the $529m taken by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The film's worldwide performance was boosted by opening in China on the same weekend as other major markets, unlike the Force Awakens, which did not start screening there until several weeks later.

The Fate of the Furious saw three-day takings of $190m in China.

However, the film's US takings were down sharply on the previous movie.

Furious 7 opened with $147.2m in the US when it was released in 2015 - but the latest instalment of the series debuted with $100.2m.

The Fate of the Furious - titled Fast & Furious 8 in some territories - stars Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel, who said he felt "grateful, humbled and blessed" after the film's success.

Despite the drop of nearly a third on the seventh film, the US performance of the film is still pretty impressive - it accounted for nearly two-thirds of all US box office takings over the weekend.

Its nearest competitor was The Boss Baby, which took a $15.5m to land second place.

More chapters in the Furious franchise, which began in 2001, are planned for release in 2019 and 2021.

-BBC

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs