There's no question the seventh installment to the "Fast and the Furious" franchise, "Furious 7," is going to have a massive opening weekend.
It is poised to make about $120 million over the Easter holiday.
That would easily give "Furious 7" the highest-grossing opening weekend for April, surpassing 2014's $95 million opening of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."
According to Fandango, the film's ticket sales are outpacing those of the "Captain America" sequel.
Ahead of "Avengers: Age of Ultron," which arrives to theaters in May, "Furious 7" has a good shot at being the year's first billion-dollar movie.
"This is definitely shaping up to be massive," Phil Contrino, the vice president and chief analyst of BoxOffice.com, told Business Insider. "With a movie like this, it's important not to get too carried away with expectations because ... in the lead-up to a big movie, that's all people are talking about, and it's easy to keep saying, 'It's going to be bigger, and bigger, and bigger.' That said, I think it has a legitimate shot at becoming the next member of the $1 billion global club."
Contrino noted that would be a huge accomplishment.
Look at the box-office numbers for "Fast and Furious 6," and it's not difficult to make that case. The 2013 film made $788 million worldwide ($238 million domestic versus $550 million overseas).
Boxoffice.com is tracking "Furious 7" to make somewhere between $275 million and $280 million stateside during its run in theaters.
"That's a $42 million increase right there," Contrino said. "The last one did about $550 million overseas. I think that number's going to go up exponentially. If there's a $40 million increase in North America alone, even if there's a $10 or $15 million increase in a bunch of key markets like UK, China, Brazil ... that's going to add up really fast. That $550 million number is going to increase quite a bit. [If] you look at it that way and we're not too far from being in the ballpark of $1 billion globally."
"Furious 7" has already opened as No. 1 in 12 markets overseas.
The film will also be Universal Studios' largest film release ever and the widest Imax release ever, showing on 810 Imax screens worldwide. It will open in more than 4,000 theaters Friday in the US and more than 10,500 theaters around the world.
In addition to the high-adrenaline, action-packed storyline, which has received great reviews, the seventh installment serves as a bittersweet send-off to franchise lead Paul Walker, who died in 2013.
Walker's death will be one reason audiences will head out to see "Furious 7."
"This isn't just another entry into a franchise," Contrino said. "It's got more significance to it. Its success at the box office, many people are going to see that as a tribute to Paul Walker and what he brought to the franchise."
"They're going to show up for that reason," he added. "Even if they maybe have skipped some of the other movies, they'll show up for this one."
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