Monday, April 06, 2009

"Fast & Furious" speeds to No. 1 worldwide

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – "Fast & Furious," the fourth film in Universal Pictures' hot-rodding franchise, raced to the top spot at the worldwide box office as movie fans with a need for speed snapped up an estimated $102.6 million worth of tickets, the studio said on Sunday.

In the United States and Canada, the picture earned $72.5 million during its first three days, smashing "Monsters vs. Aliens'" week-old record for the best opening of the year.

The film already has earned more than the previous installment, 2006's "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," which opened with $24 million and ended up making $62.5 million.

While Universal knew the sagging series was destined for a spectacular boost, its forecasts pointed to an opening in the $50 million range. The highly anticipated reunion of Vin Diesel and Paul Walker -- the stars of the 2001 original -- cost about $85 million to make, the studio said.

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