Universal studio’s film “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” has beat the Lion King to cross the box office finish line in first place, with $60.8 million from 4,253 North American locations.
The big-budget spinoff, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, is expected to be an even bigger draw overseas, where the action franchise is hugely popular.
X“Hobbs & Shaw” kicked off internationally with a robust $120 million for a global start of $180 million.
Though standalone vehicles aren’t always as muscular as official franchise sequels, “Hobbs & Shaw” will have to lure crowds across the globe throughout the dog days of summer to justify its sizable $200 million budget.
The “Fast & Furious” series has generated over $5 billion worldwide across eight films.
“We’re very thrilled with the global release, a tremendous start with a big market like China still to come,” said Jim Orr, Universal’s president of domestic distribution.
Opening weekend crowds skewed expectedly male, with boys and men accounting for nearly 60% of tickets sold. “Hobbs & Shaw” enticed moviegoers young and old, as 50% of audiences were over the age of 25.
Those who showed up this weekend were high on the action and thrills, awarding the film with an A- CinemaScore and a 90% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Orr attributes the film’s “very broad appeal” directly to Johnson and his massive fanbase.
“[Director] David Leitch, The Rock and Jason Statham created an original and really thrilling adventure that complements the franchise tremendously well,” he said.
Its $60 million domestic opening weekend marks the biggest bow for Johnson and Statham’s careers outside of the main “Fast & Furious” franchise.
The $180 million figure also represents Universal’s fifth-highest grossing global launch ever, behind “The Fate of the Furious,” “Jurassic World,” “Furious 7” and “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
In “Hobbs & Shaw,” the first spinoff in the “Fast & Furious” universe, Jonhson’s Luke Hobbs and Statham’s Deckard Shaw unite to take down a genetically enhanced anarchist (Idris Elba). The star-studded cast also includes Helen Mirren and Vanessa Kirby. David Leitch, known for his work on “Deadpool 2,” directed the film, which was written by “Fast” vets Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce.