The Fate of the Furious film shot up to top box office charts over the weekend, and broke international records.

The eighth and most recent movie in the Fast and Furious action franchise earned about $532.5m worldwide over this past Easter weekend.

The figure resulted in the franchise’s strongest debut worldwide than ever before, even overtaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens by a margin.

However, US takings from the film have decreased sharply from the last movie in the franchise.

Global Response

Rhianna Dhillon, a film critic as well as the host of the BBC’s Radio 4 podcast, Seriously, said that the franchise’s success is a result of 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,” said Dhillon.

“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.”

Success

Dhillon also mentioned how the cast’s diversity has been a key reasons that the film continued to see success in the box office.

“Hollywood really underestimates minority audiences,” she stated. “For example, if you break down the figures, the Latino audience is huge, what with Vin Diesel’s following. I think that has so much to do with it, because not many films offer that.”

She also mentioned: “The franchise still attracts huge stars each time – this year as the villain we have Charlize Theron, there’s an appearance from Helen Mirren. These aren’t people you’ve never heard of, they have the most bankable movie stars in the world.

“And Dwayne Johnson has given the films a new lease of life – when you buy a star like him, you’re buying his fans as well.”