“F9” has the box office in overdrive. The ninth installment in Universal’s action-packed “Fast and Furious” franchise has surpassed $500 million in global ticket sales, solidifying its place as Hollywood’s biggest theatrical hit of the pandemic era.
Other than “Hi, Mom” ($822 million) and “Detective Chinatown 3” ($686 million), which were both produced in China, “F9” is the only movie to cross the $500 million milestone since 2019. “Godzilla vs. Kong,” the Warner Bros. tentpole that was released in April, came the closest to reaching the half-a-billion-dollar mark, but revenues for the monster mashup have stalled at $446 million globally, which is still a strong result considering it opened simultaneously in the U.S. on HBO Max.
After a delayed summer blockbuster season, the movie theater industry is encouraged by the assemblage for “F9.” Though attendance across the globe hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels, and many movies have been struggling to sell tickets at all, the turnout for “F9” has proven that audiences will show up to their local multiplex — for the right movie.
Since it touched down in North America on June 25, domestic ticket sales for “F9” have reached $123 million, the second-best box office haul since the onset of COVID-19. The Paramount Pictures thriller “A Quiet Place Part II,” which opened a week prior to “F9,” currently holds the title for the highest-grossing movie of the year in the U.S. with $145 million in revenues. Still, “F9” crushed (pandemic) records in its box office debut, collecting $70 million in its inaugural outing on the big screen.
At the international box office, “F9” has collected $374 million from 50 overseas markets. The film has done especially well in China, with ticket sales in the country amounting to $203 million. Other notable territories include South Korea ($19.3 million), Russia ($18 million) and Mexico ($10.9 million).
Despite its box office firepower, “F9” is expected to fall short of its franchise predecessors since moviegoing across the globe hasn’t returned to full strength. Though not catastrophic, that’s not great news for the studio that paid $200 million to produce the film and many, many millions more to market and promote the property on a global scale. In terms of the “Fast” franchise, “F9″ should end its theatrical run closer to the 2019 spinoff “Hobbs & Shaw,” which ultimately tallied $173 million in the U.S. and $759 million globally. The most recent films in the core series — 2017’s “The Fate of the Furious” and 2015’s “Furious 7” — were massive commercial hits with grosses reaching $1.2 billion worldwide and $1.5 billion globally, respectively.
Directed by franchise veteran Justin Lin and starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and John Cena, “F9” sees former street racer Dominic Toretto living peacefully off the grid with his family. Their serenity is quickly upended when he’s forced to reassemble his crew to stop a world-shattering plot by a skilled assassin and high-performance driver — who also happens to be Dom’s brother. Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris round out the cast.