2020 became the year that box office milestones simply weren’t recognized. The COVID-19 pandemic kneecapped the movie industry in March of last year and from there several tentpole releases were delayed into 2021 and beyond. As movie theaters that were shuttered began reopening again, the box office began to bounce back a bit the ninth installment of the Fast & Furious franchise became one of the first to show healthy signs of life. I suppose it’s only fitting now that the film has just become the highest-grossing movie of the pandemic era after crossing a pretty impressive worldwide box office milestone.
Fast 9 crossed $700 million globally yesterday and that makes it the only Hollywood motion picture to cross that milestone to date for 2020 and 2021. The last film to hit this benchmark was Jumanji: The Next Level back in 2019 which topped out at $800 million worldwide. As of this writing, Fast 9 has grossed $172.6 million domestically and $528 million from 65 foreign markets. Its current total stands at $700.6 million and the film actually has a few more foreign markets to open in so there is even more money to be made.
Some might look at its current gross and say, “well, the last two Fast films cleared $1 billion at the global box office so this is a significant decline.” If this were a normal box office climate we would be talking about diminishing returns but this is anything but. Fast 9 is playing during a time when the box office is far from normal due to the pandemic so the fact that it has made this much money worldwide is a great success. Fast 9 also respected the 45-day theatrical window and did not go streaming or PVOD until that window was cleared. Much like the recent box office success of Free Guy, Fast 9 is another solid example that respecting the theatrical window has led to more box office success for films in the long run. Films that have gone day-and-date theatrical and streaming, have suffered steep declines and have become the victim of increased piracy since high-quality versions of the films are readily available online.
Breaking things down, Fast 9’s global take was propelled by a gross of $203.9 million in China after the film had a record-breaking opening in that market. The ninth installment of The Fast Saga also topped the international box office for five weeks and was number one in the U.S. for two weeks. The film debuted at number one in all of its 65 markets. The Fast Franchise has made $6.59 billion to date for Universal Pictures since the first film was released in 2001.
What are YOUR thoughts on Fast 9’s box office feat?