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Just how successful can the Fast & Furious franchise be outside of the main series of films? We’ll soon know the answer to that question because the nearly two-decade old franchise (which has grossed over $5 billion worldwide to date) launches its first spinoff film this weekend in the form of Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. The action film starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham opened in theaters last night, so how did it do?
Hobbs & Shaw got off the starting line with $5.8 million on opening night, according to Deadline. The Thursday night preview showings began at 7 p.m. in 3,400 locations with the film expanding out today into 4,253 domestic locations. That $5.8 million preview night is well below other mainline Fast films like Furious 7’s $15.8 million or Fate of the Furious’ $10.4 million, but it is a career best for both Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson outside of the other Fast & Furious films.
Hobbs & Shaw’s opening night surpasses last year’s Jason Statham shark film The Meg, which made $4 million opening night and Dwayne Johnson’s San Andreas, which made $3.1 million in preview screenings. Those films went on to open to $45.4 million and $54.5 million respectively. The $5.8 million preview showing actually matches what Once Upon a Time in Hollywood did last week, but Hobbs & Shaw is looking to do much better than that for the weekend as a whole.
For comparison, last year’s Mission: Impossible Fallout, which opened on July 27, made only $200K more than Hobbs & Shaw on opening night, at $6 million and went on to gross $61.2 million over the weekend. That film ended its run at $220.1 million domestic and $791.1 million worldwide. Hobbs & Shaw is tracking to open in the same ballpark as Fallout with a $60+ million weekend and Universal will surely be hoping for a similarly robust performance worldwide.
Hobbs & Shaw should enjoy fairly positive word of mouth domestically. Opening night exit surveys were solid and the film currently sports a good, but not great 71% on Rotten Tomatoes based on critical reviews.
Despite being a spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw didn’t come cheap, at $200 million before distribution and marketing costs. So the David Leitch film will need to perform well overseas on top of its domestic performance and to that end it is off to a strong start. Opening in 54 international markets between Wednesday and Thursday, Hobbs & Shaw made $24.9 million including previews.
The film performed well in a number of markets, earning 1st place debuts in the majority of them and achieving records for Universal films in countries like Indonesia and Ukraine, according to Deadline. Hobbs & Shaw even enjoyed the best opening day ever in the developing Saudi Arabia market, beating out Avengers: Endgame.
All this points to an international opening weekend box office in the vicinity of the $125 million tracking predicted. Including openings in Mexico and Japan, the action romp will be in 63 markets through today. It is important to note though that those markets do not include France, Italy, South Korea or, all-importantly, China.
The previous two Fast & Furious films have done exceptionally well in China, each coming close to $400 million over the course of their runs, so when Hobbs & Shaw opens there on August 23, it will be a big indicator of this spinoff’s ultimate success and future viability.