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Is Fast & Furious in Trouble at the Box Office? Not Really, and Here’s Why

You might have seen some headlines recently claiming the Fast & Furious in trouble at the box office. Don’t believe the hype. While the latest installment, F9, had a slower start than expected, it’s still poised to be a massive blockbuster. The truth is, the Fast & Furious movies have always been critic-proof; audiences just can’t get enough of the over-the-top action, stunts and of course, the beloved characters.

F9 faced some major headwinds, like opening during a pandemic when many theaters were still closed and some audiences were hesitant to return. But even so, it earned over $70 million in its first weekend in the US, showing the franchise still has plenty of gas left in the tank. Now that restrictions are lifting and crowds are coming back, F9 is revving up for a long, successful run. The future of Fast & Furious remains as bright as ever. So next time you see a headline proclaiming the franchise is running out of steam, do yourself a favor and keep scrolling. Fast & Furious isn’t going anywhere.

The Fast & Furious Franchise Is Still Making Money

The Fast & Furious franchise is still making major bank at the box office. Even though the latest installment, F9, had a slower start in the U.S. and Canada compared to previous films, it’s still on track to turn a huge profit worldwide.

  • F9 earned $70 million in its North American debut, much less than the $98 million to $174 million range of the previous four films. But when you add in the $334 million it made internationally, that’s already over $400 million total in just one weekend. Not too shabby!
  • The Fast & Furious films make the bulk of their money overseas. F9 is performing especially well in China, earning $136 million and counting. The franchise as a whole has made nearly $6 billion globally, with over 75% of that coming from international ticket sales.
  • F9 may be a little front-loaded, meaning more fans rushed out to see it right away compared to other installments. But with its widespread appeal around the world, massive built-in fan base of gearheads and action movie lovers alike, and the way these over-the-top blockbusters are meant to be seen on the big screen, F9 is still poised to race well past the $1 billion mark when all is said and done.
  • The Fast & Furious franchise is really just getting started. Two more sequels are planned, ensuring many more high-speed hijinks and car chases to come. As long as Vin Diesel and the crew keep audiences entertained, Universal will keep the engines running for the long haul. Looks like box office trouble is in the rearview mirror!

Don’t Believe the Hype: The Latest Film Is Not Actually “Underperforming”

Don’t buy into all the headlines claiming the latest Fast & Furious film is “underperforming” at the box office. Here’s why the naysayers have it wrong:

Fast 9 hauled in $70 million in its opening weekend in the U.S., a figure most franchises would kill for. While it didn’t match the previous film’s record-breaking $98 million debut, we’re still in a pandemic, people! Considering many viewers are still hesitant to return to theaters, $70 million is an incredible showing.

Globally, Fast 9 earned $300 million in just three days. Three hundred million dollars! The Fast saga has always been more about the worldwide audience, and on that front, this film is right on track to be another massive blockbuster.

Sure, some critics argue that box office returns are down in major markets like China. But the latest flick hasn’t even opened there yet—and when it does on May 21, expect a huge boost to the total gross. These high-octane thrillers have a huge fanbase in China, and there’s no reason to think this one will be any different.

The bottom line: it’s way too early to claim Fast 9 is somehow underperforming or signaling the end of the franchise. The box office numbers so far point to another wildly successful installment in one of the biggest action series of all time. So sit back, grab your popcorn, and enjoy the ride—there’s still plenty of gas left in this franchise’s tank!

The Franchise Has Always Been Critic-Proof

The Fast & Furious franchise has never cared much for critics.

Let’s face it, these high-octane action flicks have always been more about over-the-top stunts, souped-up cars, and an entertaining ensemble cast than winning Oscars. The reviews have rarely mattered to hardcore fans who just want a fun, wild ride at the movies.

  • The first Fast & Furious film only has a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, yet it was still a box office hit, launching a blockbuster franchise.
  • Most of the sequels have received mixed to negative reviews but continue to break records at the box office, proving the law of diminishing returns does not apply here.
  • Furious 7 was panned by critics with a 29% rating but earned over $1.5 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film in the series.

The over-the-top stunts and action keep fans coming back.

The outrageous car chases, explosions and gravity-defying stunts are a huge part of the appeal. Each new installment attempts to outdo the last in terms of sheer implausibility and adrenaline. The stunts have become such a focal point, they’re treated like characters themselves. As long as Vin Diesel and the crew continue upping the ante, fans will keep flocking to see these physics-defying feats of action heroism on the big screen.

At the end of the day, the Fast & Furious franchise is review-proof because it knows exactly what it is – a high-energy thrill ride, not a cinematic masterpiece. As long as it keeps delivering on outrageous stunts and an entertaining cast of characters, fans will continue turning out in droves, critical opinions be damned. The box office has proven for 20 years and counting that this franchise doesn’t need validation from the critics to be a success. It’s built on delivering pure popcorn entertainment to audiences, and that’s a formula that works.

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The Films Are Built to Withstand Sequel Fatigue

The Fast & Furious films are built to withstand sequel fatigue and box office drops with each new installment. How? These action-packed blockbusters have a few tricks up their sleeve to keep audiences coming back for more.

Memorable and Likable Characters

The Fast family – Dom, Letty, Hobbs, Roman, Tej, Ramsey, and the rest of the crew – have become beloved characters that fans have grown up with over the course of 20 years and 9 films. We’ve been through loss, love, and lots of laughs together. Their charm, humor and heart make us connect with them in a way most action franchises don’t.

Focus on Relationships and Teamwork

More so than the racing and stunts, the Fast films center around relationships – the family you’re born into and the one you choose. Dom’s relationship with Letty, his sister Mia, and his team ground the over-the-top action. We tune in to see the crew work together, support each other, and become whole again. The theme of teamwork over individual success is inspiring.

Continually Raising the Stakes

Each film aims to top the last in terms of action, stunts and locations. From racing through city streets, to parachuting cars out of planes, to cyberterrorism, the stakes have risen dramatically. But the films never take themselves too seriously, embracing the absurdity and having fun with how far they can push the envelope while keeping things (mostly) grounded in reality. This self-awareness and the creators’ passion for innovative action sequences keep us wondering what they’ll come up with next.

Universal Themes of Family, Loyalty and Redemption

At their core, the Fast & Furious films are about universal themes that resonate across cultures. Family, loyalty, and the quest for redemption motivate the characters and fuel the drama. The story is one of “bad guys gone good” and seeks to show that people can change for the better. These timeless themes, combined with a heavy dose of humor and heart, give the films a broad, enduring appeal.

The Future of Fast & Furious Looks Bright

Fast & Furious movies

The Fast & Furious franchise shows no signs of slowing down. Despite some worries about box office returns for F9, there are several reasons why the future looks bright for Dom Toretto and his family.

More Movies on the Way

Universal already has plans for Fast & Furious 10 to premiere in 2023, as well as a female-centric spinoff starring some of the series’ popular female characters like Letty and Mia. With at least two more high-octane action flicks on the horizon, Fast & Furious has a lot of gas left in the tank.

  • The spinoff in particular could attract new fans by highlighting strong, complex female characters in a male-dominated genre. By diversifying the series, Fast & Furious may find continued success at the box office.

Expanding the Brand

In addition to the films, Fast & Furious has spawned video games, theme park rides, and a variety of merchandising over the years. Universal will likely continue leveraging the brand across platforms to reach new audiences and keep existing fans engaged. Some possibilities include:

  1. Another video game featuring characters and storylines from the later movies.
  2. A Fast & Furious show on Universal’s Peacock streaming service.
  3. More theme park attractions as Epic Universe opens in Orlando.
  4. Partnerships with auto brands for co-branded products, events or experiences.

A Built-In Fanbase

Most importantly, Fast & Furious has a dedicated fan following that has grown up with the franchise over 20 years. Fans will likely continue turning out for new films to see their favorite characters in action and find out what crazy stunts the series dreams up next. For many fans, Fast & Furious is about more than just fast cars – it’s about the themes of family, loyalty and “never turning your back on family” that have been at the heart of the series from the beginning.

With more movies coming, opportunities to expand the brand, and a loyal built-in fanbase, the road ahead looks open and clear for Fast & Furious. While box office returns may fluctuate at times, this high-speed franchise still has enough fuel to keep going into the foreseeable future.

Conclusion

So while the latest Fast & Furious didn’t shatter box office records, the franchise is far from finished. The dedicated fan base will keep coming back for more, and the studio knows how to keep improving the stunts and upping the ante to draw audiences in. The passion of the fans and the creativity of the filmmakers will ensure Fast & Furious stays fast and furious for years to come. Next time you’re craving high-octane action and entertainment, you know where to turn. The family will be waiting for you.

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