Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson fighting in The Fate Of The Furious

The Fate Of The Furious just keeps on chugging away at the box office. In fact, it shows no signs of abating, as yesterday it crossed the $1 billion mark after just 17 days in cinemas. But while it looks on course to rival Furious 7 as the most successful installment to the Fast And The Furious franchise, it has now crossed one movie landmark that everyone can appreciate. That's because the movie's director F. Gary Gray just became the first African American director to make over a billion dollars at the box office.

The outrageous box office success of The Fate Of The Furious means that F. Gary Gray has left his competitors in his dust. Previously the highest grossing film from an African American director was Peter Ramsey, as Rise Of The Guardians made $306 million at the box office back in 2012. John Singleton was second, and is now third, courtesy of 2 Fast 2 Furious's $236 million, and then came F. Gary Gray with Straight Outta Compton, which ultimately grossed $201.6 million.

It's not surprising that F. Gary Gray has achieved such success with The Fate Of The Furious, as his eclectic career is full of films that have thrived financially. Out of the nine films that he has overseen only 1998's The Negotiator failed to match its budget, while A Man Apart was deemed a disappointment as it grossed just $44 million from its $36 million production costs. However, The Italian Job, Be Cool, and Law Abiding Citizen collectively returned $398 million from combined costs of $166 million, while Friday, Set It Off, and Straight Outta Compton went one step further by achieving critical notoriety as well as excelling at the box office. In fact, while they cost just $62.5 million to make all together they grossed over $270.1 million.

F. Gary Gray talking to Vin Diesel

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures.

It was the success of Straight Outta Compton back in August 2015 that convinced Vin Diesel to pursue F. Gary Gray about reteaming for a film, after the pair previously worked on A Man Apart. While The Fate Of The Furious' reviews might not have quite matched those received by Furious 7, it hasn't stopped audiences from flocking to see the blockbuster, as its high-octane and frankly ridiculous but nevertheless enjoyable action sequences have proved just too alluring for audiences.

The big question now is whether or not F. Gary Gray is actually going to return for one or possibly even two of the already confirmed sequels to The Fate Of The Furious. Considering the box office success of The Fate Of The Furious you'd imagine he'd be right at the top of Universal's list of choices. Since the ninth installment to the Fast And Furious franchise is due out on April 19, 2019, we can probably expect an answer by the end of the summer or towards the end of the year so that production on the film can swing into action in 2018.

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