It's not often that a franchise surges on its seventh installation, but this weekend the Fast and Furious series exceeded all expectations, set franchise records, and set a high bar for the summer blockbuster competition.
Furious 7's success is no doubt in large part to the series' star Paul Walker's tragic death with fans turning out to pay homage to his final performance. But the movie stands tall on its own merit as well, garnering a franchise high rating of 82% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. The movie banked $143 million this weekend, throttling to the number one spot.
That total is not only the highest in the franchise, it ranks in the top ten openings of all time (ninth place just ahead of The Twilight Saga: New Moon's $142 million 2009 opening) and is higher than some of the domestic totals of previous Fast & Furious flicks (2 Fast 2 Furious topped out at $127 million and Tokyo Drift stalled out at just $62 million).
Helen Mirren's newest drama Woman in Gold opened in small release, banking more than $7,500 per screen for a seventh place total of $2 million.
The Divergent Series: Insurgent crossed the triple digit mark, ending its third weekend with $103 million in domestic sales, down 10% from where the first Divergent film was at this same point.
For the full weekend top ten, check out the chart below: