Fast & Furious 9 Nabs Biggest Pandemic-Era Box Office Debut

During the first weekend of its official release in theaters across the United States and Canada, Fast & Furious 9 grossed an estimated $70 million, becoming the most successful film in the Covid-19 pandemic era.

The latest installment in the Fast and Furious franchise, released as F9: The Fast Saga in North America, had already opened in other countries, grossing more than $400 million worldwide.

Like James Bond No Time To Die, the other highly anticipated title from a famous franchise -now slated to release in September this year-, it was one of the several films that delayed their originally planned 2020 releases.

F9: The Fast Saga, starring Vin Diesel once again, is the tenth installment in the series that began with The Fast and the Furious two decades ago.

It tells the story of Dominic Toretto, played by Diesel, and his fight against his estranged criminal brother, played by John Cena. Other stars who will appear in some sequences, including those filmed in Edinburgh in 2019, are Dame Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, and Cardi B.

John Cena told the media that the Scottish capital was a great place “to destroy,” referring to the movie’s frenzied action scenes.

Fast & Furious 9 outperformed other hit movies released during the pandemic, such as A Quiet Place II and Godzilla vs. Kong, on its first weekend. F9’s performance at North American box offices brings comfort to beleaguered theater owners worldwide after Covid-19 restrictions forced most entertainment venues to close.

Between Friday and Sunday after its launch, A Quiet Place II raised $6.2 million, taking its overall takings in the United States and Canada to $136 million.

Fast & Furious 9 arrived on Thursday last week in Ireland and the United Kingdom, where theaters have been authorized to operate with social distancing measures and other COVID-19 rules, including reduced capacity. However, despite the restrictions, Justin Lin’s film grossed over £1 million on its first day of release.

The Fast and Furious producers recently revealed that two more installments of the famous series have been planned.

But Lin said the successful, world-renowned franchise “deserves an ending.” Speaking to the media, he said: “We can’t always feel like we’re going to go on forever. With the Saga, I feel like it’s the right choice.”