Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham’s “Hobbs & Shaw” hits theaters this weekend, the first spinoff in the “Fast & Furious” franchise. The two stars are reprising their roles from earlier films, and starring alongside Idris Elba, Eddie Marsan, Vanessa Kirby, and Helen Mirren. The franchise already spans eight films and brought in over $5.1B over the last 15 years, and “Hobbs & Shaw” needs a supersized opening weekend to break the franchise records.
Going back to 2001, Rob Cohen directed “Fast and the Furious,” and the movie starred Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster. The film opened at number-one at the domestic box office with a $40M debut and went on to make over $207M worldwide. In 2003 Universal Pictures released the sequel, “2 Fast 2 Furious,” with director John Singleton. Vin Diesel didn’t return to the franchise for the second installment, and instead, Tyrese Gibson, Eva Mendes, Cole Hauser, Chris Bridges, and Devon Aoki joined Paul Walker for the follow-up. Vin Diesel’s absence didn’t hurt the franchise, and the film topped the original with a $50M opening weekend and a $236.3M worldwide gross.
Things slipped out of control with Justin Lin’s “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” which hit theaters without Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. Lucas Black and Zachery Ty Bryan starred in the movie, but with Walker out of the story, the film opened in third-place overall with a $23.9M debut before ending its theatrical run with a $158.4M gross. With the third film almost ruining the franchise, Universal Pictures hit the reset button and made “Fast and Furious” in 2009 with Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Gal Gadot, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster. Justin Lin returned to direct, and the return of the franchise stars paid off big for the studio. “Fast and Furious” made $70M on its opening weekend and over $363M worldwide.
To keep the momentum going, Justin Lin returned to direct “Fast Five,” with Gal Gadot, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster, Chris Bridges, and Tyrese Gibson. The fifth film added Dwayne Johnson to the cast, and the franchise hit a new record with an $86M opening and a $626.1M worldwide total. Things only got better from there, with “Fast & Furious 6” opening with a $97.3M debut in 2013 and a $788.6M worldwide gross. Justin Lin directed the sixth installment, which featured returning stars Gal Gadot, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, and Jordana Brewster. The movie added Luke Evans and Gina Carano to the franchise.
In 2015, “Furious 7” turned the popular franchise into a worldwide sensation. James Wan directed the movie, which made $147M domestically on its opening weekend and over $1.51B worldwide. Wan’s influence in China helped to create the super franchise, and $1.1B of the film’s total came from foreign markets. The all-star cast didn’t hurt the movie either, adding Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, Djimon Hounsou, and Tony Jaa to the cast which brought back Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, and Lucas Black. “Furious 7” was also the first movie since the death of franchise star Paul Walker, and CGI was used to finish the film and wrap up the character’s story.
With a new $1.5B record to beat, Universal Pictures set the scene for “The Fate of the Furious,” adding Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren, and Kristofer Hivju to the cast. F. Gary Gray directed the movie for the studio, and the film featured Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, returning star Michelle Rodriguez, Chris Bridges, Jason Statham, and Kurt Russell. The film fell a little short of “Furious 7,” making $98.7M on its opening weekend and just over $1.2B worldwide.
Now that we are all caught up, we can look ahead to “Hobbs & Shaw,” from director David Leitch. The director is coming off “Deadpool 2” and the original “John Wick,” and “Hobbs & Shaw” has the added benefit of featuring two fan-favorite characters from the franchise. The spinoff still has to beat the seventh film’s $147M domestic opening, and it’s $1.5B worldwide total. Current estimates have the film opening somewhere between $60M and $70M domestically, which is well below the $147M domestic record. The movie is opening across 4,200 locations, unopposed, and we will get a clearer picture once the Thursday night previews are revealed. A $71M domestic debut will put the film in fifth-place on the franchise’s opening weekend chart, between “Fast and Furious” with $70M and “Fast Five” with $86M. In any case, it seems very unlikely that the film will do worse than “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” so landing in last place looks out of the question for the time being. On a brighter note, the movie currently sits with a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, about the same as “The Fate of the Furious,” “Fast & Furious 6,” and “Fast Five,” and well above every other installment other than “Furious 7,” which has an 81% rating.
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