The opening weekend for Furious 7 has made one thing abundantly clear: The Fast & Furious film franchise is showing no signs of hitting the brakes.
The seventh installment of the action franchise that began with 2001’s The Fast and the Furious earned an estimated $143.6 million at the U.S. box office over the weekend, giving it both the best April opening of all time and the best Easter weekend opening for any movie. The record for April openings was previously held by last year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, while the record for the best Easter weekend opening was previously held by 2010’s Clash of the Titans remake.
Furious 7 also topped the opening weekend of the previous record-holder in the franchise, 2013’s Fast and Furious 6, giving it the most successful opening weekend in the series so far.
And those weren’t the only records set by Furious 7 over the weekend.
The film that reunited series stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, and Ludacris for yet another high-speed adventure also broke the April record for IMAX openings with $14 million in sales spread over 365 IMAX theaters nationwide. This makes it the second-best IMAX opening of all time after 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.
The film’s success wasn’t limited to just the U.S., either. Globally, the opening weekend for Furious 7 was similarly successful in IMAX theaters, setting the April record for international IMAX releases and establishing itself as the third highest-grossing opening weekend of all time internationally, ranked just behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Given all of the records broken by Furious 7 over the weekend, the film is expected to be the first billion-dollar movie of 2015 — a feat that was only achieved by one film last year, Transformers: Age of Extinction.
While these are all big numbers, just how big may be the most impressive aspect of the film’s opening. Consider this: The $146.3 million earned by Furious 7 over the weekend is approximately 93 percent of the weekend earnings for all of the films that appeared in theaters when previous April record-holder Captain America: The Winter Soldier premiered last year.
On top of all that, it’s worth noting that Furious 7 is currently maintaining an 83 percent “Fresh” rating on review aggregator RottenTomatoes.com, making it a rare example of a blockbuster that achieves both critical and box-office success.