Universal Pictures more than proved its mettle over the weekend, releasing the problem-plagued seventh installment of its “Fast & Furious” action franchise to critical acclaim and record-breaking global ticket sales.
“Furious 7,” which faced the death of a principal cast member, Paul Walker, before filming was complete, sold an estimated $143.6 million in tickets at North American theaters — or 47 percent more than “Fast & Furious 6” took in over its first three days in 2013. “Furious 7” generated an additional $240.4 million overseas. That action film was released in 14,009 theaters worldwide.
It was the biggest April opening in Hollywood history; the previous record-holder was “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which took in $95 million a year ago. Imax said on Sunday that “Furious 7” broke multiple sales records, including some in foreign markets. A competing network of extra-large movie screens in the United States, led by the Cinemark chain, also reported record sales.