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May 25, 2021

Fast & Furious 9 breaks pandemic box office record

The latest instalment in the Fast and Furious franchise has made an estimated $70m (£50m) during its first weekend on release in the US and Canada.

It means Fast & Furious 9 – released as F9: The Fast Saga in North America – is the most successful film to be released since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

The sequel, which had already opened in several overseas territories, has now made more than $400m (£287m) worldwide.

It was one of a number of films to have their planned 2020 releases delayed.

Others include the James Bond film No Time To Die, which is now scheduled for release in September.

Starring Vin Diesel, F9 is the tenth entry in the series that began in 2001 with The Fast and the Furious.

The latest instalment pits Diesel’s Dominic Toretto character against his estranged criminal brother, played by John Cena.

Charlize Theron, Cardi B and Dame Helen Mirren also appear in the film, some of which was shot in Edinburgh in 2019.

Cena told the BBC this month the Scottish capital was a great location “to destroy” during the film’s frenetic action sequences.

Fast & Furious 9 left its nearest competition for dust over a weekend that will give comfort to North America’s embattled cinema owners.

A Quiet Place Part II took a comparatively trifling $6.2m (£4.4m) between Friday and Sunday, taking its overall US and Canada takings to $136m (£97m).

F9 opened on Thursday in the UK and Ireland, where cinemas are currently operating with social distancing measures in place.

Despite these restrictions, Justin Lin’s film is reported to have made more than £1m on its first day on release.

Two more instalments in the series are currently planned, with Lin saying the blockbuster series “deserves an ending”.

“We can’t always feel like we’re going to go on forever,” he told the BBC. “With the Saga, I feel like it’s the right choice.”

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