"Fast & Furious" is Biggest April Opening Ever

I knew Fast & Furious would dominate the box office at #1 this weekend, but this is still quite a shock to the system. The fourth film in the "Douchebags and the Cars That Get Them Hard" series is performing well beyond Universal's own expectations.

Deadline Hollywood has Fast & Furious' weekend projection and it clocks in at $71 mil, making it the biggest April opening in history by a lot. Previous record holder was Anger Management in 2003, which raked in $42 mil. Fast & Furious opened big Friday with $30 mil and earned an additional $25 mil Saturday. This is f--king huge.

You know what that means, right? Yippee for Fast & Furious 5. Maybe this time the cars explode if they go below 50 miles per—oh wait, that's been done. Whatever, who cares about plot? That's certainly not what made this film a hit.

But what did? I think the marketing did a pretty bang-up job here. The main sell of the film is that it's a true sequel to the 2001 original, almost disregarding the second and third films. This is evident in the title, the tagline ("New Model, Original Parts") and the cast billing. Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster receive heavy pushes despite having very small roles in the film, just because they strengthen the link to the first film. The fact that Rodriguez's character dies in the first 10 minutes is something kept hidden, to trick audiences into thinking she's one of the stars, which is kind of funny considering her death is the whole premise of the film. Once again, the plot matters nada. Get the stars, build an aura, show plenty of fast-moving cars in keeping with the target fanbase. Smart.

Congratulations, Vin Diesel. You are once again a top grossing actor.

Meanwhile, Adventureland opened terribly at #6 despite terrific reviews (88% on the Tomatometer), which I have to admit is not at all surprising. The film's hype never quite gained the traction Superbad did. Those expecting Twilight fans to lend help forgot that Kristen Stewart isn't exactly at the top of the fangirls' Fantasy BFF list. Maybe if Jesse Eisenberg wore plastic fangs, learned only one look and stopped bathing...

Apr
05
2009
Arya Ponto • Contributor

As former Editor of JPP, Arya likes to entertain peeps with his thoughts on pop culture, when he's not busy watching Battle Royale for the 200th time. He lives in Brooklyn with a comic book collection that's always the most daunting thing to move with, and writes for Artboiled.com.

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