Hollywood has set high hopes, at least $150 million to $180 million, for Vin Diesel’s F9 to cash in at the international box office this weekend. Industry analysts are offering a wide range, which could balloon even higher as it’s hard to track initial grosses in foreign markets.
F9 stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, John Cena and Helen Mirren and follows Diesel’s Dominic Toretto and his family as they take on their fiercest foe yet – Dom’s brother. And they somehow find themselves in space!
It’s especially challenging to forecast box office ticket sales as different parts of the world was recover from COVID-19 at different paces. Outside the United States, as per Variety, where F9 is scheduled to open on June 25, movie going has nearly returned to full strength. Asian markets, particularly China and Japan, have been a source of optimism after recently ushering in several blockbusters including Hi Mom, Detective Chinatown 3 and Demon Slayer: Mugen Train.
Earlier this year, Warner Bros Godzilla vs. Kong recorded the best opening overseas in the post-COVID era. It debuted to $121 million from 38 foreign countries. Analysts say that even if F9 falls short of expectations, it should easily surpass that benchmark. It was initially slated for a release last summer but was delayed numerous times owing to the pandemic.
Vin Diesel’s movie, which cost $200 million to produce, is engineered for global audiences and requires outsize ticket sales to get out of the red. It would have been impossible to turn a profit if it were released any earlier, since the majority of movie theatres weren’t in operation. Globally, the nine “Fast” (Fast and Furious franchise) movies have earned more than $5 billion at the box office.
China is considered as a key territory for this. And it’s not just because the country has overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest movie market and has been less reliant on Hollywood fare to fuel attendance levels. Analysts say that for prior Fast and Furious installments, nearly 30% of global box office totals came from China alone. The most recent chapters in the main Fast saga – 2015’s Furious 7 and 2017’s The Fate of the Furious were enormous hits with each making about $390 million in China.
Analysts, this time around, are less hyped on the plot and more hypnotized by onscreen action when it comes to buying movie tickets. Following F9, Hollywood is planning to heat up big screens with Black Widow, A Quiet Place Part II and In the Heights.