May 18, 2022

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, movie theaters have been suffering an economic drought, but F9 has made it rain.

According to CNBC, the ninth installment of the Fast & Furious franchise is predicted to earn $70 million in its first weekend in the United States and Canada. This will be the most successful domestic debut since the COVID-19 epidemic began in March 2020.

Following its global release last month in South Korea, where it reportedly grossed $162.4 million, the blockbuster has since grossed more than $405 million worldwide.

F9 was released following A Quiet Place Part II, which opened to just under $50 million in ticket sales last month. Cruella premiered at $37.4 million on the same weekend, and Godzilla vs. Kong opened to $32.2 million in April.

F9’s opening weekend also coincided with the reversal of COVID-19 restrictions, with numerous movie theaters reopening. Comscore data indicates that 80% of North American theaters are open. F9 also has the biggest opening weekend since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 2019.

After multiple postponements, F9 is one of the few films to launch entirely in theaters since the epidemic began. However, many recent high-budget films have premiered simultaneously in theaters and on streaming platforms.

Aside from Vin Diesel, the F9 cast include Tyrese Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Kurt Russell, Michael Rooker, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron.

“F9 is the first true summer blockbuster released in over two years, and all eyes were on this performance to provide a glimpse into the future of the movie theater,” Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, told CNBC. “And that future now looks very bright and bodes well for the big films now in the pipeline set for release in the coming weeks and months.”

The F9 launch fell short of 2017’s Fate of the Furious, which grossed $98 million in its opening weekend, but outperformed Hobbs & Shaw, which grossed $60 million in its opening weekend.