Posted: Sun., Apr. 5, 2009, 8:00am PT

'Fast' wins weekend with $72.5 mil

Universal pic makes box office history

By Pamela McClintock
Variety

New model plus original parts equals box office history for Universal’s “Fast & Furious,” the fourth outing in the action franchise, left naysayers and critics in a cloud of dust.

“Fast 4” grossed a boffo $72.5 million as it opened over the weekend in 3,461 theaters at the domestic box office in one of the biggest B.O. surprises in recent memory.

Pic also ran laps around the competish at the international box office, bowing to $30.1 million for a worldwide opening take of $102.6 million.

Domestically, it’s the best non-holiday, three-day opening in U’s history.

It’s also the biggest opening of 2009, as well as the biggest April opening ever. Previous record-holder for best April bow was “Anger Management” ($42.2 million).

Reteaming Van Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster for the first time since the original film, “Fast 4” was predicted to open somewhere in the $40 million to $50 million range. Highest opening gross for a previous film in the franchise was the $50.5 million earned by “2 Fast 2 Furious.”

Some had questioned whether U was making the wrong move in trying to reactivate the franchise. Last film, “Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” only opened to $23.9 million.

Miramax’s dramedy “Adventureland,” the weekend’s other new wide release, grossed an estimated $6.2 from 1,862 locations, in line with expectations.
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