That eerily (and tragically) prescient emark may now apply to the cast and producers of Universal's “Furious 7″ which in the wake of the death od beloved star Paul Walker last year, crossed $1 billion at the worldwide box office Friday, becoming the studio’s first film to reach that milestone.
“Furious 7″ has grossed $735.2 million overseas in 17 days and $273.7 million in North America after 15 days — making it the fastest movie to reach $1 billion. “The Avengers,” “Avatar” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ had all crossed $1 billion in 19 days. Universal said the seven films in the franchise have totaled $3.392 billion in worldwide grosses.
“Furious 7″ is directed by James Wan and stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Jason Statham and Ludacris.It is the 20th film to take in $1 billion, with “Avatar” leading the list at $2.79 billion, followed by “Titanic” at $2.19 billion. Paramount’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction” had been most recent addition to the list last year with a $1.09 billion worldwide gross, which leaves it in 10th place.
“We’re incredibly proud to watch ‘Fast & Furious’ take its place as the only original live-action franchise to reach these kinds of results at the box office,” said Nick Carpou, U’s head of domestic distribution. “Our cast, filmmakers and all of our Universal and ‘Fast’ family deserve credit for working so hard to make ‘Furious 7′ a huge success, and we look forward to continuing to watch the film grow over the next few weeks.”
“What started as a small film about the street racing sub-culture of East Los Angeles has become a global phenomenon, with ‘Furious 7′ shattering records in so many territories around the globe,” saidDuncan Clark, president of international distribution.
Universal said “Furious 7″ chalked up the record for second-biggest worldwide opening weekend at $397.2 million behind only “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” It was the studio’s highest-grossing domestic launch at $147.2 million and international opening at $250 million.
“Furious 7″ also set records as the highest opening weekend in 29 territories and has become Universal’s highest-grossing film in 26 territories. Its $63.5 million opening day in China set a record, demolishing the previous record of $36 million for “Transformers 4.”
“At Universal we have had franchises with strong results at the box office, including ‘Jurassic Park,’ ‘Despicable Me’ and the ‘Bourne’ series, and although we take great pride in these accomplishments, what distinguishes ‘Fast and Furious’ is that it is an original live action concept with an entirely diverse cast,” Meyer noted. “It is the only franchise of its kind to reach a total of more than $3.39 billion and counting.”
Meyer also noted the unique circumstances created by star Paul Walker’s death in late 2013.
“When our friend and colleague Paul Walker tragically passed away in the middle of production, our team, led by Jeff Shell and Donna Langley, and the filmmakers, along with the cast and crew, did what they do best: They focused on family first; then talked to the fans; then got to work on making a great film that we can all be proud of,” he said. “We were all saddened and honored to be a part of Paul’s final career performance and to celebrate his defining role in our live