SPEEDING TOWARD THE FUTURE
Not only does the series boast one of the most racially diverse casts in blockbuster history, the team is always looking at the evolution of the story with an eye for international talents like Indonesian actor Joe Taslim (featured in "Fast & Furious 6") and Thai martial artist Tony Jaa (featured in "Furious 7"). "It does help," said Universal Studios President of International Distribution Duncan Clark, who saw an increase in earnings from Brazil after the country was featured in "Fast Five." He hopes the same will be true for Abu Dhabi, a key setting in the latest movie.
Indeed, most international markets have grown steadily over the past few films, but none can match the power of mainland China, which has become "a tremendous elevation for all films now," said Clark. China contributed US$53.6 million of the sixth film's total revenue and all eyes are on the debut of "Furious 7" there on April 12. For Universal Studios, the series is vitally important to its overall business and a worthy competitor to the superhero fare of other studios. "At this point we believe we can compete with anybody. We saw a huge opportunity to be the first movie of the early summer and then have three weeks all to ourselves," said Moritz.
As for what's next, Universal Studios Chair Donna Langley has said that there are at least three more films in the series. Right now, though, they're just glad "Furious 7" is finally set to open. The film was supposed to debut in July of 2014, but Paul Walker's death in November 2013 threw everything for a loop as the team regrouped to figure out whether or not to complete it in his absence, and then how to do it tastefully. "Honestly, this has been the hardest movie I've ever made," said Moritz, who now looks forward to continuing the journey. "We've had talks about what we want to do, but we'll get really serious after the release."
Even after seven films, there's still stuff yet to be tried: No "Fast & Furious" film has played in the U. S. in 3D, partly because the fast cuts of the action