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When Furious 7 hit screens a couple years ago it became one of the biggest box office hits of all-time. A large part of that success was due to the film doing an amazing amount of business in China. The next film in the franchise is now set to follow its predecessor as The Fate of the Furious has just secured a Chinese release date.
What's more, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the release date is April 14, which is the same day it will open in North America. This means that the movie is set to have a potentially massive global opening weekend as it will see its biggest business in its two largest markets over the same weekend.
Furious 7 made an astounding $390 million in its time in China in 2015 and is still one of the biggest Hollywood movies ever to open there. By comparison, the movie earned $350 million in North America.
Hollywood films have been relying on international box office success, specifically that of China, more and more in recent years. However, not every film that a blockbuster here is nearly as successful overseas. While the Marvel movies and the Mission: Impossible franchise have always done well in both places, Star Wars has never seen the success in China that the studio would like to see. By comparison, films that struggle here, like Terminator: Genisys have made all their money back and then some when released in China.
The other issue is that China controls which western movies get released there, so not every film even has a chance to get exposed to the Chinese audience. Certainly, The Fate of the Furious seeing a Chinese release is not unexpected considering the popularity of the predecessor. The Chinese audience would likely demand it and theater owners would want to screen it as well.
It would seem that Vin Diesel is box office gold in China. In addition to the Fast & Furious movies doing well there, the recent XXX: Return of Xander Cage also put up a respectable $155 million, while only doing $44 million domestically.
If The Fate of the Furious does as well at the box office as Furious 7 did, or better, and there's no reason to expect that won't happen, it will certainly become one of the highest-grossing films of the year. It could become one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Furious 7 currently sits at number six on the all-time list. While there are several other 2015 films in the top 10, only the Star Wars franchise will be competing with Vin Diesel's car racing series this year.
Will you be hitting The Fate of the Furious opening weekend? Let us know in the comments below.