The eighth instalment in the Fast and the Furious franchise has seen the biggest worldwide debut of all time, besting both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Jurassic World to reel in $700 million on its opening weekend.
The Fate of the Furious led the Easter weekend charge, resulting in a record $US532.5 million ($701.5 million) worldwide debut.
The Force Awakens broke the record for biggest international weekend ever in December 2015, with $569.4 million (without China).
The previous record holder was Jurassic World with $417.2 million.
Rhianna Dhillon, film critic and host of BBC Radio 4’s Seriously… podcast, said the success of the Fast & Furious franchise is down to its “universal appeal”.
“They’re films people of all ages can enjoy, because they have that pure, unadulterated escapism about them, children and adults alike are quite happy to watch things get blown up and smashed up,” she said.
“A lot of what drags movies like The Avengers down is the plot, and Fast & Furious isn’t trying to compete with those heavy, convoluted storylines. This is just cars smashing into each other and it’s okay to enjoy that.
“This franchise isn’t trying to be anything it’s not. Ultimately, from the bottom up, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
Dhillon said the diversity of the cast is one of the key reasons the film series has seen continued box office success.
Despite the drop of nearly a third on the seventh film, the US performance of The Fate of the Furious is still pretty impressive – it accounted for nearly two-thirds of all US box office takings over the weekend.
Its nearest competitor was The Boss Baby, which took a further $15.5m (£12.4m) to land second place.
The film’s worldwide performance was boosted by opening in China on the same weekend as other major markets, unlike the Force Awakens, which did not start screening there until several weeks later.
The Fate of the Furious saw three-day takings of $190m (£151m) in China.
More chapters in the Furious franchise, which began in 2001, are planned for release in 2019 and 2021.