Having the original cast of The Fast and the Furious back together again after eight years apart turned out to be a very good thing for the franchise. The latest installment, Fast & Furious, raced to the top of the box office this weekend with an estimated $72.5 million, leaving all kinds of records in the dust. The best opening of the year so far was also the best debut ever for a movie released in April, far surpassing Anger Management’s previous record of $42.2 million. What’s more impressive is that the movie, which bested all of its prequels’ opening numbers, has grabbed the second highest opening ever for a January-to-April release, coming in second only to The Passion of the Christ.
Monsters vs Aliens slid to second place with $33.5 million, and its 10-day total is already past the $105 million mark. In 13th place, Watchmen reached $105 million as well, but only after five weeks at the box office. The Haunting in Connecticut came in with $9.5 million for a total gross so far of $37.2 million, Knowing had a 44.7 percent drop to fourth place with $8.1 million and rounding out the top five was I Love You, Man with $7.8 million for a cumulative gross just shy of $50 million.
Adventureland, the week’s other new wide release, debuted in sixth place with $6 million, certainly nothing to write home about.
The race is still on next week as we see whether Miley Cyrus and her army of devoted tweeners can knock Fast & Furious out of the top spot with Hannah Montana: The Movie. The other movie that could give the competition a run for its money is the Seth Rogen vehicle Observe and Report, directed by cult fave Jody Hill (of The Foot Fist Way underground fame) and starring Anna Faris. And finally there’s Dragonball: Evolution, the manga/anime-based movie starring Justin Chatwin, Chow Yun-Fat and Emmy Rossum.