|Fast & Furious accelerates to $72.5m opening
Fast & Furious left the competition in the dust with a $72.5 million opening weekend, the best so far this year.
That topped last weekend's $59.3 million debut for DreamWorks Animation's Monsters vs. Aliens, which slipped to second place with $33.5 million, raising its 10-day total to $105.7 million, according to studio estimates on Sunday.
Universal's Fast & Furious also raced to a record for April debuts, easily passing the previous best of $42.2 million set in 2003 by Anger Management.
It was a blockbuster opening more customary to summer. But Hollywood has been extending its busy season more and more by placing summer-style flicks earlier in the year.
The weekend's other new wide release, Miramax's 1980s nostalgia comedy Adventureland, debuted at No. 6 with $6 million. The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart as summer workers at a second-rate theme park in the late '80s.
The fourth instalment of the Fast and the Furious street-racing franchise brings back the four stars of the 2001 original–Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster. The new movie has Diesel's fugitive driver and Walker's undercover cop reteaming for more illegal races as they take on a murderous drug lord.
The reunion paid off for distributor Universal, which also pulled in $30.1 million in 32 other countries where Fast & Furious was playing.