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Jason Statham's Shaw giving a smug smile

The first spinoff film in Universal’s lucrative and long-running Fast & Furious franchise raced into theaters this past weekend with Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. The action film starring Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Idris Elba and Vanessa Kirby hit the NOS button and went straight to first place, toppling The Lion King from its throne atop the box office. All told, Hobbs & Shaw made $60.8 million in its opening weekend.

Hobbs & Shaw got off to a solid start with Thursday night previews taking in $5.8 million, which marked career bests for Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham outside of the other Fast films. The spinoff film played in 4,253 theaters over the weekend and made $14,296 per theater for a total of about $60.8 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

This opening weekend is right in line with where the most recent tracking had Hobbs & Shaw pegged so it didn’t wildly outperform or disappoint based on the most recent expectations. However, $60.8 million is below the more bullish $75 million to $115 million the long-range tracking predicted for the film.

That $60.8 million opening is the biggest opening for both Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson other than their other Fast & Furious franchise films. For The Rock, it bests Moana’s $56.6 million and San Andreas’ $54.5 million, and for Statham, it easily surpasses the $45.4 million The Meg opened to last year. While still solid and a good opening for the film’s two stars, Hobbs & Shaw’s $60.8 million is one of the smaller debuts in the Fast & Furious franchise.

The opening weekend box office for Hobbs & Shaw bests the original 2001 film The Fast and the Furious as well as 2 Fast 2 Furious and arguably this franchise’s first spinoff, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. However, this opening does fall in behind the franchise’s most recent five installments, with 2009’s Fast & Furious coming in ahead with $70.9 million and the franchise high Furious 7 debuting to a huge $147.1 million.

Ultimately it’s a solid start for Hobbs & Shaw, if not particularly remarkable. Still, the film will have a long way to go if it wants to achieve profitability and make a sequel undeniable. Hobbs & Shaw rang up at a pricey production budget of $200 million, and that’s before the marketing spend. Universal will be hoping for a strong performance overseas to propel this film across the finish line and into the black.

To that end, the spinoff made about $120 million over the weekend for a worldwide box office total of roughly $180.8 million. Notably, that does not include China, where the film opens near the end of the month and where the Fast & Furious franchise has performed quite well in recent years.

Although the reviews weren’t as enthusiastic as they were for other films in the franchise, Hobbs & Shaw still received many positive notices overall and word of mouth should be strong, with the spinoff sporting an “A-“ CinemaScore.

Financial imperative or not, a sequel is clearly the agenda given the film’s lingering mysteries and all the set up done for future installments. There are plenty of directions to go and new mythology to explore. In theory, Hobbs and Shaw could race alongside Dom and his crew in the coming years in a two-pronged franchise.

Hobbs & Shaw is now playing. Check out our premiere guide to see what else is headed to theaters the rest of this year.

Hobbs & Shaw Interviews with Jason Statham, Idris Elba and More

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