“Fast and Furious 9” Explodes With Biggest Opening Since 2019

%22Fast+and+Furious+9%22+Explodes+With+Biggest+Opening+Since+2019

Mark Ruffin

Universal Pictures “F9” (also known as Fast & Furious 9) opened to near $70.0 million its opening weekend.

“F9” can now take claim to the biggest opening weekend for a theater only film (Universal skipped a VOD streaming option) since the beginning of the pandemic last year. Does this mean the theater going experience is back?

 

The ninth film in the “Fast and the Furious” franchise had the biggest opening during the pandemic since pre-pandemic theater days which saw Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” open to $175.5 million.

“Theaters needed ‘F9’ in the most consequential way; a $70 million opening weekend does wonders for concessions,” says Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. But to justify keeping the lights on, he says, movie theaters will require more than just a hulking Vin Diesel and the cinematic anomaly of cars in space says Jeff Bock via Variety.

Overseas the film has taken in over $162.4 million in markets in Russia, China and more. “F9 will also be the third film in the pandemic to reach over $100 million following Warner Bros. Pictures “Godzilla Vs. Kong” and Paramount’s “A Quiet Place Part 2” says Box Office Mojo.

The question that remains is will this save theater chains like AMC who have struggled during the pandemic to stay afloat? Especially since steaming has been more competitive and some films like Marvel’s “Black Widow” will be released in theaters and on the Disney + simultaneously this July.

“I am glad to see people coming back to the theaters. It’s fun to see people excited to watch a movie in theaters again said James Thomas, 25, a Crew Leader at AMC Neshaminy 24.

“Movie theaters and film studios are hoping that rising COVID-19 vaccination rates and pent-up demand for new releases will reboot the industry after a devastating year, “says CBS NEWS.

So far, it seems that the audiences are flocking to the big blockbusters amidst the pandemic which is a good sign of theaters maintaining relevance in an everchanging marketplace.

AMC, Regal and Cinemark has since lifted their mask mandate for fully vaccinated people and have taken the necessary steps to make moviegoers comfortable with coming back to theaters.

“We disinfect daily, have disinfected wipes, hand sanitizer, maintain social distancing according to the local and state mandates,” said Thomas.

Moviegoer Anita Williams, 42, said “I am fully vaccinated, so I feel safe without wearing a mask. I think theaters are doing a good job of keeping us safe. I am happy to just to be out the house. I missed going to the movies with my husband”.

AMC has also taken measures to make sure that their works who are on the front line have the tools they need to give moviegoers a good experience, while being safe themselves.

“I have the PPE I need. I don’t really feel unsafe, fully vaccinated,” said Thomas.

The film industry is slowly starting to release the blockbusters that have been delayed due to the pandemic (some by a full year) and it seems that the theater going experience is creeping back to life thanks to films like “F9”, “Godzilla Vs. Kong”, “A Quiet Place Part 2”, and Marvel’s upcoming “Black Widow” by making sizable amounts of money during the pandemic.

Fast & Furious 9 stars Vin Diesel, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Sung Kang, Tyrese Gibson, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Charlize Theron, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Helen Mirren and Kurt Russell.