The Fast Saga is officially back! Universal Pictures’ F9 is the No. 1 movie in the world this weekend as it kicked off its international run in eight markets, including Korea, Hong Kong, Russia, the Middle East and China.
With this weekend’s take of $162.4 million around the world, F9‘s international premiere pushed The Fast Saga past $6 billion globally behind a loyal fanbase, some of whom have been part of the Fast family for two decades.
The Fast & Furious franchise is one of only six franchises to reach $6 billion and with the fewest number of films (10 including F9).
The IMAX opening weekend is a pandemic era best $14 million and becomes IMAX’s second-biggest international opening ever in May, opening in 26 fewer countries than current May record holder, Captain America: Civil War. It is Universal’s third-biggest IMAX international opening weekend ever after Jurassic World and The Fate of the Furious.
Results for the ninth chapter in The Fast Saga broke records across markets this weekend to easily become the biggest MPA opening for a film internationally during the pandemic, nearly doubling Godzilla vs. Kong’s openings in the same markets. Additionally, F9 is the first Hollywood blockbuster since Avengers: Endgame to post a $100 million-plus opening in China.
As part of an unprecedented marketing strategy, the campaign for F9 reached farther and deeper into China than ever before, including custom content and activations in three key cities: Wenzhou, Wuhan and Chongqing along with high-profile, out-of-home tactics and a large scale presence at The Strawberry Festival, the most influential music festival in China.
Beloved by fans around the world, F9 talent promoted the film across the region including custom fan greetings from Vin Diesel, daily social posts from newest member of the Fast family, John Cena, also known throughout Chinese social media as being one of the most fluent Chinese speaking Hollywood actors and to thank the fans for helping to make F9 the No. 1 movie in the world, the cast created a custom thank you message, which can be viewed here.
China’s total through Sunday is $135.6 million (875M RMB). F9 has become the second-biggest opening for Universal and The Fast Saga behind the eighth installment (which still holds the record as the biggest MPA three-day opening of all-time with 1.3B RMB).
F9 opened Friday with $59.1 million, the second-biggest opening day of the pandemic behind Detective Chinatown 3 and the weekend is by far the biggest MPA opening of the pandemic. In China, F9’s IMAX result of $12.4 million becomes the third-best May China opening weekend ever as well as Universal’s second-best China opening weekend in IMAX after The Fate of the Furious.
With its strong international opening and loyal fanbase, the studio anticipates that F9 will continue to build its audience in the coming weeks leading into its domestic release on June 25.
F9 releases will continue its rollout in 62 international markets after this first wave, with major markets including Australia on June 17, Latin America and the UK along with North America on June 25 and Spain, France, and Germany throughout July.
In F9, Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto is leading a quiet life off the grid with Letty and his son, little Brian, but they know that danger always lurks just over their peaceful horizon. This time, that threat will force Dom to confront the sins of his past if he’s going to save those he loves most.
His crew joins together to stop a world-shattering plot led by the most skilled assassin and high-performance driver they’ve ever encountered: a man who also happens to be Dom’s forsaken brother, Jakob (John Cena, upcoming The Suicide Squad).
F9 sees the return of Justin Lin as director, who helmed the third, fourth, fifth and sixth chapters of the series when it transformed into a global blockbuster.
The action hurtles around the globe – from London to Tokyo, from Central America to Edinburgh, and from a secret bunker in Azerbaijan to the teeming streets of Tbilisi. Along the way, old friends will be resurrected, old foes will return, history will be rewritten, and the true meaning of family will be tested like never before.
The film stars returning cast members Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel and Sung Kang, with Oscar winner Helen Mirren and Oscar winner Charlize Theron.
F9 also features Grammy-winning superstar Cardi B as new franchise character Leysa, a woman with a connection to Dom’s past, and a cameo by Reggaeton sensation Ozuna.