05 August, 2019
The first spin-off of the 18-year-old Fast & Furious movie series, has sped away with $180.8 million in its worldwide opening.
The film, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw made $60.8 million of the total in the United States. The successful opening pushed The Lion King out of the number one position in ticket sales.
Hobbs & Shaw teams two of the Fast & Furious stars, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham. Johnson is federal agent Luke Hobbs and Statham plays former British soldier Deckard Shaw. The two team up to search for an intelligence agent in possession of a powerful weapon: a virus that could kill millions of people.
But the agent sought is not a stranger. Hattie Shaw, played by Vanessa Kirby, is Deckard's sister. The three must work together to defeat their shared enemy, Brixton Lore, played by Idris Elba.
Lore belongs to a terrorist group that developed the deadly virus and will do anything to get it back.
The Fast & Furious films are among Hollywood's most dependable profit-makers. The last two films each grossed more than $1 billion.
The opening for Hobbs & Shaw suggests a similarly healthy financial future. But the $200 million film is aiming for even greater popularity outside of the U.S. Movie goers bought $120 million worth of tickets around the world over the weekend. And that does not include China: home to huge numbers of Fast & Furious fans. Hobbs & Shaw opens in that country on August 23.
Universal Studios official Jim Orr thinks many different kinds of movie-goers like the films.
"It's super encouraging and really tells about how broad this franchise plays," said Orr.
The Lion King, released three weeks ago, dropped to second place in box office ratings, earning $38.2 million over the weekend. The Disney film recently crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide, becoming the fourth Disney movie this year to do so.
I'm Caty Weaver.
Caty Weaver wrote this story for VOA Learning English. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor.
Words in This Story
spin-off –n. a television program, movie, book, etc., that is based on characters from another television program, movie, book, etc.
gross –v. to earn (an amount of money) before taxes, expenses, etc., are taken away
encouraging –adj. causing a hopeful feeling
franchise –n. a series of related works (such as novels or films) each of which includes the same characters or different characters that are understood to exist and interact in the same fictional universe with characters from the other works