‘Fu­ri­ous 7’ holds on to box of­fice; ‘The Avengers: Age of Ul­tron’ looms

The China Post - - ARTS - BY JAKE COYLE

“Fu­ri­ous 7” en­joyed a victory lap over the week­end, be­com­ing only the third film ever to make US$1 bil­lion (NT$30.59 bil­lion) in­ter­na­tion­ally and lead­ing the do­mes­tic box of­fice for the fourth straight week. But the movie that’s poised to top­ple the Uni­ver­sal jug­ger­naut, Marvel’s “The Avengers: Age of Ul­tron,” revved up over­seas with a mas­sive US$201.2 mil­lion de­but.

In North Amer­i­can the­aters, “Fu­ri­ous 7” had enough left in the tank to top all films with an es­ti­mated US$18.3 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to stu­dio es­ti­mates Sun­day. While the film has been a huge do­mes­tic hit, it’s been even big­ger abroad — par­tic­u­larly in main­land China, where it’s set a record with US$323 mil­lion.

“Fu­ri­ous 7,” a film whose fate was once in doubt af­ter the death of star Paul Walker mid­way through shoot­ing, has now made US$1.3 bil­lion glob­ally. Only two other films, both by James Cameron — “Avatar” and “Ti­tanic” — have made more money in­ter­na­tion­ally than “Fu­ri­ous 7.”

“Fu­ri­ous 7” has had lit­tle com­pe­ti­tion to chal­lenge it through­out April. This week­end, the only new wide re­lease was the Blake Lively fan­tasy ro­mance “The Age of Adaline.” The Lion­s­gate and Lakeshore En­ter­tain­ment re­lease came in third with US$13.4 mil­lion. The Sony com­edy “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” held up stronger than ex­pected to take sec­ond place with US$15.5 mil­lion in its sec­ond week.

But the reign of “Fu­ri­ous 7” is ef­fec­tively over now that the highly an­tic­i­pated “Avengers” se­quel is on the way. Though it doesn’t open in North Amer­ica un­til Thurs­day night, it de­buted in 44 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries this week­end. That rep­re­sents about half of its in­ter­na­tional roll­out.

Dis­ney said the film is ex­ceed­ing the pace of 2012’s “The Avengers” by 44 per­cent in the places it has opened. Joss Whe­don’s first in­stall­ment of the su­per­hero team-up fran­chise, star­ring Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruf­falo, Scar­lett Jo­hans­son and many oth­ers, made US$1.5 bil­lion world­wide, good for third all-time.

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