You’d think that the fourth installment of a nearly decade-old franchise so mediocre that even Vin Diesel thought it best to jump ship early on would post a middling first-week debut at best. You’d be very wrong. That’ll teach you to underestimate the combined megawatt charisma of Diesel and Paul Walker.
Fast & Furious rode the apparent demand (who knew?) for the reunion of the original cast of 2001’s The Fast And The Furious to a record-setting No. 1 debut, ringing up summer-blockbuster numbers with $72.51 million. That’s easily the biggest first-weekend bow of the year so far, and outstrips the street-racing franchise’s first three installments even with ticket price increases factored in. Combined with a solid second-week showing from last week’s front runner—Monsters Vs. Aliens at No. 2 with $33.51 million—those numbers propelled the box office to its highest-grossing April frame ever.
Less impressive was the debut of R-rated coming-of-age comedy Adventureland, which limped into the No. 6 spot with $6.01 million—though it opened in far fewer theaters than most of the top 10 contenders, and its $3,228 per-screen average is respectable.
The Haunting In Connecticut took the biggest hit this weekend, dropping a spot to No. 3 with $9.55 million, ahead of Knowing at No. 4 with $8.13 million. I Love You Man held up reasonably well in its third frame, landing at No. 5 with $7.85 million, while Duplicity and Race To Witch Mountain each fell two spots, to No. 7 with $4.3 million and No. 8 with $3.35 million, respectively. 12 Rounds fell to No. 9 with only $2.3 million, giving the action flick a paltry 10-day total of just over $9 million. Meanwhile, by-the-numbers indie comedy Sunshine Cleaning made some unexpected forward movement, thanks to being picked up by 300 or so more theaters in its fourth week, giving it a 48 percent bump to the No. 10 spot with $1.88 million.
More detailed box-office numbers can be found at boxofficemojo.com.