"Fast & Furious" fires up U.S. box office
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Fast & Furious," Universal Pictures' fourth hot-rodding film, had the best opening weekend of any movie this year, making an estimated $72.5 million and speeding to the top of the North American box office.
The film already has earned more than the previous installment, 2006's "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," which opened with $24 million and ended up making $62.5 million.
The new champ reunites Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, the stars of the 2001 original, which brought in $40.1 million on its opening weekend. The first sequel, 2003's "2 Fast 2 Furious," debuted with $50.5 million. Their respective totals were $144.5 million and $127.1 million.
"Fast & Furious" also smashed the old record for an April opening, surpassing last weekend's $59.3 million bow of "Monsters vs. Aliens." The old mark was $42.2 million, set in April 2003 by "Anger Management."
"Fast & Furious" also racked up $30.1 million from 32 foreign countries, opening at the top of many international box offices, Universal said. Highlights included Germany with $6.5 million, Mexico with $4 million and Spain with $3.6 million.
Diesel and Walker resurrect their roles as old foes who team up to confront a common enemy. Along the way, there are car chases, convoy heists and burning gas tankers.
Universal is a unit of General Electric Co's NBC Universal.