Last weekend, Furious 7 drove off with a staggering $392 million worldwide, the fourth-best global debut of all time. Stateside, however, the Universal blockbuster nabbed an equally impressive $143 million, making it the strongest April weekend run in box office history. Sorry, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
So, where did all the nitrous oxide come from?
It could be a little thing called “diversity.” According to Universal Studios, 75% of the US filmgoing audience that saw Furious 7 last weekend was non-white. In fact, 37% of the ticket buyers were Hispanic, 25% were Caucasians, 24% were African-Americans, and 10% percent were Asians, leaving four percent for other demographics.
“There is literally someone within the cast that is relatable on some level to nearly every moviegoer around the world,” Rentrak box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian explained, “and this has paid big dividends at the box office and also in terms of how casting decisions will be made in the future for these types of large-scale action epics.”
This isn’t lost on the studio. “Someone that I admire quite a lot recently said this is a franchise that really looks like America,” remarked Universal president of domestic distribution Nicholas Carpou, “and there are characters that everyone can relate to. I think that’s a big plus.”
Furious 7 is in theaters now and stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, and the late Paul Walker, and was directed by James Wan. Recently, Film Editor Justin Gerber sat though the entire franchise in a single sitting — he kept a diary.