LOS ANGELES (AP) — The high-octane “Furious 7” peeled out of the gates in its opening weekend, picking up a stunning $143.6 million from 4,004 locations to easily top the domestic box office, according to Rentrak estimates Sunday.
The expectation-shattering sum is a studio and franchise best for the homegrown car-obsessed series, which has continued to grow over the past few films.
“Furious 7,” now the ninth-biggest opening of all time, also unseats previous April record-holder “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which opened to $95 million on the same weekend last year.
While the “Fast and Furious” films have grown in popularity over the past three films, the mega-opening for “Furious 7” was also at least partially tied to audience interest in star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash in Nov. 2013 before the film was completed.
Production on “Furious 7” was halted while the filmmakers and Universal…
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