James Wan's Furious 7 is expected to do some serious box office business this weekend, and is on track to be the biggest opening of 2015 so far - but it's not waiting until it hits theaters to start setting records. The movie has now reportedly set a pre-sales record for the month of April, surpassing the bar that was set by Captain America: The Winter Soldier last year.
These numbers are coming in from Fandango, and the numbers suggest some very big things from the seventh chapter in the Fast & Furious franchise. After all, the aforementioned Marvel Studios film opened to an impressive $95 million in 2014, which allowed it to stake a claim as the biggest April release ever (dethroning the $86 million take that was brought in by Fast Five in 2011). One could make the argument that Furious 7 is getting a bit of revenge on the comic book company, but Marvel won't be able to strike back for at least five years, as their planned out schedule between now and 2019 doesn't include any April release dates.
What will certainly help Furious 7 make an incredible amount of cash this weekend is the fact that Universal Pictures is truly going all-out with the movie's release. As we reported earlier today, the studio is giving the blockbuster an absolutely massive roll-out that will see the movie released in 4,003 North American theaters and 10,500 theaters overseas - which is the biggest that the company has ever attempted. Surely this must be an expensive move, but it's a well-earned show of confidence. After all, the movie-going public has been hungry for this movie for months.
Current predictions estimate that Furious 7 will bring in $115 million in its first three days, which would not only be enough to give it 19th place on the all time weekends chart, but would also make it the biggest weekend of 2015 thus far. Given that it's only April, this may not seem like a big deal, but truthfully we have already seen some big heavy hitters hit theaters this year - including American Sniper (which made $89 million in its first frame after expanding to wide release) and Fifty Shades of Grey (which brought in an impressive $85 million in its opening stretch).
Of course, where Furious 7 will stand on the box office charts by the end of the year is anybody's guess. The film is definitely expected to perform exceptionally well, as its pre-sales clearly indicate, but let's not forget the other monster blockbusters that are coming out in 2015. I am, of course, referring to the trifecta that is The Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. When the end of the year comes, which order to do you think the four movies will fall into? Hit the comments with your speculation.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.