Why Fast X blew everyone away at the box office

Longtime fans of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise tend to make a big deal out of the start of each new chapter. “Fast X” is the 10th film proper and 11th overall in the series, putting “Fast” films in a rarefied class with franchises like “Star Wars,” “Star Trek,” the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and James Jump. While there may not be “fast-paced” merchandising or TV tie-ins on the scale of “Star Wars” or the MCU, the series nonetheless has a loyal and active fandom that historically showed up on opening weekend.

Beginning with 2009’s “Fast and Furious,” the “Fast” films have all grossed at least $60 million domestically in the first weekend of their theatrical release. 2015’s ‘Furious 7’ was an outlier; it banked nearly $150 million in its first three days. All other installments came in respectably but still under $100 million. It’s worth noting that six of the “Fast” films with big opening weekends have grossed over half a billion dollars worldwide, so things are looking good for “Fast X” overall.

However, two factors throw a wrench in what should read as an unqualified success. The $67.5 million domestic sum of ‘Fast X’ is the second lowest since ‘Fast and Furious’, beating only the side project, ‘Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw’, which debuted with approximately $60 million in revenue. The latest film’s $340 million production budget also far exceeds the rest of the franchise, meaning “Fast X” will have to do a lot better by the end of its run just to break even.

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