Get ready for an octane-laced weekend at the box office.
Universal's The Fate of the Furious - the eighth outing in the male-fueled action franchise - is projected to earn $110 million or more in its North American debut and north of $350 million globally. The last film, Furious 7, launched to a record-shattering $147.2 million domestically and $397 million globally in April 2015 following the tragic death of series lead Paul Walker.
All agree that Furious 7's rousing start was fueled by those wanting to see the final title starring Walker, who died in a violent car crash in November 2013 during a hiatus from shooting.
Fate of the Furious could easily outperform prerelease tracking and has a shot at matching Furious 7's global debut, thanks to China, where it also opens this weekend. Furious 7 debuted to $182 million in the Middle Kingdom on its way to earning $390 million.
The movie currently boasts an 80 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a franchise-best topping Furious 7 (79 percent).
Fate of the Furious begins racing out the gate Wednesday in a handful of foreign marks, followed by another wave Thursday. On Friday, it opens everywhere in North America, where it will get a berth in 4,304 theaters, the widest footprint in history for a non-summer tentpole.
Directed by F. Gary Gray in his franchise debut after helming Straight Outta Compton for Universal, Fate of the Furious once again stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky and Kurt Russell. Newcomers include Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren and Scott Eastwood. The story follows a villainous superhacker (Theron) who turns Diesel's character against his crew.
Heralded for their diverse casts and globetrotting storylines, the Fast and Furious movies have collectively grossed more than $3.9 billion globally. Furious 7 was far and away the biggest earner and the only installment to cross $1 billion on its way to finishing its worldwide run with $1.516 billion.
Fate of the Furious certainly spooked the competition - there is no other movie opening nationwide this weekend.