Fast Five outpaced its lofty expectations and registered a record breaking debut in the process.

‘Fast Five’ Speeds to $86.2 Million Start

on May 02, 2011 by Daniel Garris

Universal's Fast Five ignited the summer box office this weekend with a massive $86.20 million debut. The fifth installment of the popular franchise outpaced its already lofty expectations and set a number of opening weekend records in the process. Fast Five established new records for the largest April opening weekend on record (topping the $70.95 million debut of 2009's Fast & Furious) and the largest un-adjusted debut ever for Universal (topping the $72.13 million start of 1997's The Lost World: Jurassic Park). The film also registered the largest opening weekend of 2011 thus far, as it topped the recent $39.23 million start of Fox's Rio with great ease. Fast Five received a huge boost from the estimated $8.3 million it grossed in IMAX locations.

Fast Five opened with $34.40 million on Friday and held up quite a bit better as the weekend went on than Fast & Furious did during its opening weekend. Fast Five generated an opening weekend to Friday ratio of 2.51 to 1, where as Fast & Furious generated a ratio of 2.32 to 1. With a stronger than expected hold on Sunday, Fast Five outpaced Sunday's studio estimate by a sizable $2.6 million. That is a good sign for the film going forward, though the competition will obviously get a lot tougher on Friday when Paramount's Thor enters the marketplace.

Internationally, Fast Five grossed $45.3 million from 14 foreign territories this weekend. While Fast Five was outpaced by Thor internationally, that was primarily from it playing in far fewer markets, as Fast Five has been leading Thor in most markets where both films are playing. Key debuts for Fast Five this weekend included $11.5 million in Russia, $10.2 million in Germany and $6.3 million in Spain. The international total for Fast Five currently stands at $83.6 million, placing its worldwide total at $169.8 million.

Keeping on the international front, Thor was off to a big start this weekend with $83.0 million from 56 foreign markets. As mentioned, Thor hasn't been as strong as Fast Five in most markets where both films are playing, but it has benefited from a wider initial launch. In the bigger picture, Thor is performing quite well for a comic book film internationally, as it is running well ahead of both 2008's Iron Man and 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine thus far. Key debuts for Thor this weekend included $9.0 million in the United Kingdom, $8.1 million in France, $6.5 million in Mexico, $6.0 million in Russia, $5.9 million in Germany and $5.7 million in Korea. After opening a week earlier in Australia, the international total for Thor stands at $93.0 million.

Turning back to the domestic front, the break out performance of Fast Five had a clear effect on the rest of the marketplace. Rio finished in a distant second place with $14.79 million. The weekend after Easter is typically a strong frame for family fare, but that wasn't the case this weekend as Rio fell 44 percent. With Thor being released on Friday, next weekend will also be a major challenge for Rio (and holdovers in general). Rio did top the $100 million domestic mark over the weekend and has now grossed $104.01 million through 17 days. The 3D computer animated film continues to perform much stronger internationally, where it grossed $31.7 million from 67 markets this weekend. That brings the film's international haul to $263.1 million and worldwide total to $367.1 million.

The weekend's other two wide releases were off to very tough starts. Disney's Prom debuted in fifth place with $4.71 million, while The Weinstein Company's Hoodwinked Too! grossed an even softer $4.11 million to take sixth. Neither film had been expected to light the box office on fire, but nonetheless both films opened to less than half of their respective expectations coming into the weekend.  Meanwhile, Freestyle's Dylan Dog: Dead of Night was dead on arrival with just $0.75 million this weekend. With so many tentpole level releases this summer (especially towards the start of the season), it will be interesting to see just how much room is left in the marketplace for smaller releases.

Tags: Dylan Dog: Deady of Night, Hoodwinked Too!, Prom, Rio, Thor, Fast Five

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