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Fast and Furious 9 breaks pandemic-era US box office record

Someone grab Vin Diesel a celebratory Corona we've got good news for him and the Fast and Furious family

Someone get Vin Diesel a celebratory Corona because we’ve good news for him. Fast and the Furious 9 has, fast and furiously, taken over the US box office with an estimated $70 million debut, giving it the biggest opening of any movie in the pandemic-era. F9 is now set to become one of the few films that have managed to break the $100 million barrier at the US box office since the pandemic began.

The newest instalment in the Fast Saga has also knocked A Quiet Place Part 2, the previous pandemic box office record-holder, out of pole position. The follow up to John Krasinski’s 2018 monster hit grossed $57.1 million in its opening weekend, but unfortunately, it’s been left in the dust by Fast 9.

Fast 9’s impressive opening weekend makes it the biggest movie opening in the US since Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 2019. Box office analysts are hopeful that Fast’s early success hints the theatrical experience can bounce back from the 2020 pandemic, which saw many cinemas across the world close their doors.

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Comscore’s senior media analyst, Paul Dergarabedian, told EW that the success of both Fast 9 and A Quiet Place 2 demonstrated the continued benefits of a “theatrical first” release strategy. “Movie fans over the past many weeks have increasingly demonstrated their willingness to venture back into theatres for the undeniably powerful in-communal and immersive experience that only the big screen can provide,” he added.

Fast and Furious 9 is the ninth instalment in the long-running action movie series about street racers who spend their days driving fast, defying the laws of physics, and pulling off audacious stunts. The new film sees Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) reunited with the black sheep of his “family”, his younger brother Jakob (John Cena). There’s no love lost between the two brothers, though, and Jakob’s willing to do anything to step out of his big brother’s shadow. Oh, also Han (Sung Kang) is alive again, which is great because who doesn’t love Han but also kind of baffling.

The film’s been warmly received by fans of the franchise and critics who found the over the top and preposterous stunts extremely entertaining. We here at The Digital Fix were less keen on the film. Our own Anthony McGlynn wrote that he enjoyed the boisterous action scenes but felt the film’s preoccupation with backstory hurt the movie’s momentum.