LOS ANGELES, May 23, (Variety.com) – “F9” has the international box office sizzling.
The latest installment in Universal’s testosterone-fueled franchise kicked off with a massive $162.4 million in eight markets, including China, Korea and Hong Kong. Those ticket sales easily mark the best start for a Hollywood blockbuster since COVID-19 hit.
It’s an encouraging start to summer movie season, particularly because revenues weren’t far off from what a “Fast” movie would have generated at the box office in non-pandemic times.
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“Moviegoers are eager to come back to theaters when the right movie is out there,” Universal’s president of international distribution Veronika Kwan Vandenberg said. “It’s a great movie for the China market,” she adds. “It has a strong fanbase.”
Of this weekend’s $162 million bounty, $135 million came from China alone. That ranks as the second-biggest launch for the series in the country following the eighth entry, 2017’s “The Fate of the Furious” ($184 million). In another notable milestone, it’s the first Hollywood title in two years — since Disney’s 2019 superhero epic “Avengers: Endgame” — to debut to more than $100 million in China.