By Brent Lang LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - "Furious 7" raced to the top of the domestic box office, picking up a massive $143.6 million in its opening weekend. That establishes a new high-water mark for the month of April, blowing past the $95 million debut of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," and stands as the highest-grossing kick-off for any film in the "Fast and Furious" franchise. It also ranks ninth among the top ten openings in history. Much as "The Dark Knight" turned into a memorial for Heath Ledger, audiences flocked to see star Paul Walker in one of his final roles. The actor died in a 2013 car crash at the age of 40 and his work on the film was completed using digital technology and a series of stand-ins. "This is a bittersweet installment in the franchise," said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at BoxOffice.com. "[Walker's] passing made this movie more intriguing for people who hadn't seen some of the installments. It raised awareness and its success is a tribute to him." Universal Pictures spared no expense in bringing the latest chapter in the fast cars and gravity-defying-stunts series to the big screen, shelling out $190 million on the production. It unspooled in 4,003 North American theaters, earning $14 million on 365 Imax screens and $11.5 million from premium large format screens. Going into the weekend, most analysts estimated that the film would open in the $115 million range. Foreign numbers were steroidal. Internationally, the film rolled out across 10,500 screens in 63 territories, earning $240.4 million. "This is the next member of the billion dollar club and that's a rarefied place to be," said Contrino. "This thing is on fire." With an A CinemaScore and strong reviews, "Furious 7" could be one of the few modern blockbusters that hangs on for more than a few weeks. The month of April is lean on blockbuster fare and "Furious 7" won't get serious competition until "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" debuts on May 1. The opening weekend crowd was impressively diverse, a testament to a series that has drawn strength from its multi-cultural cast. The audience was 51% male, 44% under age 25, 37% Hispanic, 25% Caucasian, 24% African-American and 10% Asian. "We're expanding our audience based on the diversity of interest from different ethnic groups all buying into saga of Dom Toretto and his family," said Nick Carpou, Universal's president of domestic distribution, referencing the character played by Vin Diesel. Last weekend's box office champion, DreamWorks Animation's "Home," showed impressive stamina, falling less than 50%. The animated tale picked up $27.4 million in its sophomore frame, pushing its domestic total to $95.6 million. In third place, R-rated comedy "Get Hard" earned $12.9 million. The Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart team-up fell 62% from its opening number, bringing its stateside haul to $57 million. "Cinderella" snagged a fourth place finish, picking up $10.3 million stateside to push its domestic bounty to $167.3 million. Globally, the Disney release is closing in on $400 million. "The Divergent Series: Insurgent" rounded out the weekend top five, nabbing $10 million and driving the film to $103.4 million domestically. Among art house releases, Noah Baumbach's "While We're Young" expanded from four to 34 theaters, picking up $492,976. The A24 release has earned $791,450 in two weeks. Radius-TWC's "It Follows" also continued to expand, moving from 1,218 to 1,655, though its gross dipped 35% to $2.5 million. The critically adored horror film has made $8.5 million since debuting on March 13. The Weinstein Company was particularly bullish on the reception for "Woman in Gold," a drama about the fight to recover art stolen by the Nazis. The film picked up $2 million from 258 locations and will expand to between 800 and 1,000 venues this coming weekend. "The film is definitely poised for a long, long run," said Erik Lomis, the studio's distribution chief. "That's a really solid start." Thanks to "Furious 7," the overall box office reached $218 million, the first time that ticket sales have crossed $200 million over the Easter weekend. "These huge results jump start momentum for the blockbuster, summer season, suggesting that 2015 is shaping up to be everything (and maybe even more) that the industry has been hoping for," said Greg Foster, CEO of Imax Entertainment. In other words, "Furious 7" just dropped the mic.
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
- Miami Herald
“You have changed my life forever,” one user wrote after discovering the feature.
- NBC Sports Washington
Charles Mann told the Sports Junkies on Wednesday that he is "not happy" with the new name that Washington settled on.
NY Attorney General Tish James says Trump changed his mind about her investigation into his company only after being subpoenaed for a deposition
In a new filing, New York Attorney General Letitia James claims Trump filed a lawsuit only so he could wriggle his way out of taking a deposition.
- Business Insider
Watch as a snowplow driver launches a spray of slush into oncoming highway traffic, leading to a 40-car accident on the Ohio Turnpike
The driver was immediately removed from their shift and placed on administrative leave, the turnpike commission's director said in a statement.
- The Daily Beast
Anna Moneymaker/GettyOn Sept. 4, 2017, according to his confession letter, Joel Greenberg called his friend Rep. Matt Gaetz with some bad news.A teenager both men had paid to have sex with was underage, Greenberg claimed. Now, two sources tell The Daily Beast, a cooperating witness can confirm details of that call for one damning reason: He was in Greenberg’s office when the call took place.The witness, “Big Joe” Ellicott—Greenberg’s longtime best friend and an employee at the Seminole County ta
- In The Know by Yahoo
Little boy has sweetest reaction when he spots parents in audience: ‘Proof that being present can make a big difference’
His whole face changed the second he saw them, and the footage is going viral.
- Best Life
Even though the world has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly two years, we're still learning about the virus and how it can affect our bodies. One area of understanding that has been particularly difficult to grasp has been the wide range of symptoms the virus can cause and how some can stick around long after recovery. Now, a new study has found that one symptom is having a long-term effect on about half of people who have caught COVID. Read on to see which ailment could be stic
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The creature was found after a Crime Stoppers tip.
- The Providence Journal
Computer models continue to "boost confidence" that Southern New England will get hit with "a high impact winter storm" Saturday.
- KABC – Los Angeles
The family of an active mother of three who was allegedly refused the COVID-19 vaccine multiple times, is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Kaiser.
- CBS News Videos
Bill of the Month: Hospital charges family over $1,000 even though they were not treated by a doctor
Dhaval Bhatt's toddler went to the emergency room after he burned his hand on the stove. His son was not seen by a doctor, but Bhatt's hospital bill still totaled more than $1,000. Kaiser Health News' Editor-in-Chief Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal breaks down how this happened and what you should know before visiting an emergency room.
- Ravens Wire
Multiple Ravens' players reacted on Twitter to Antonio Brown posting a picture of himself in a Baltimore jersey
- Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
The Olton-Farwell boys basketball game on Tuesday night was postponed after officials left following the girls game.
- Celtics Wire
B/R trade proposal sees Boston swapping a beloved face and a new arrival for an Atlanta Hawks big man
The fit is sound, but would it make both teams better?
- Women's Health
Alexandra Daddario's ultra-toned abs and killer booty are total #goals in these new Instagram photos. Hot yoga and AMRAP workouts are her fitness go-tos.
Others don't think they're so nice...View Entire Post ›
- Kansas City Star
”I just wish I could do what I want without getting attacked every week,” tweeted Brittany Matthews, co-owner of Kansas City Current and fiancee of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Is this transitional dressing?
- Raleigh News and Observer
The Sheriff’s Office believes the man was likely trying to steal a car’s catalytic converter when he got pinned under the car.
- Fox News
Lia Thomas' teammates realizing 'they will never, ever be able to beat this person,' Penn swimmer's dad says
The father of a female swimmer at Penn said his daughter and many of her teammates are realizing they "will never make it" to the winner’s podium while transgender swimmer Lia Thomas is on their team.