A $100.2 Million Opening for ‘The Fate of the Furious’ Sets Career Record for Director F. Gary Gray

By Sameer Rao Apr 17, 2017

With its $100.2 million opening this past weekend, "The Fate of the Furious" solidified F. Gary Gray‘s title for the highest-grossing premiere by a Black director. 

ABC News reported this morning (April 17) that the eighth film in the "Fast and the Furious" franchise garnered the aforementioned amount in theaters across the United States since its opening Friday (April 14). That number sets the record for opening-weekend    earnings by a film with a Black director. As Deadline notes, the $100.2 million surpasses the previous record-holder, the Gray-directed 2015 N.W.A. biopic, "Straight Outta Compton," by $40 million. 

Box Office Mojo adds that the movie’s total global gross of $532.5 million also set a worldwide record for the highest-earning first weekend by any film, breaking the $529 million record set by 2015’s "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." 

The luxury-car-antics-meets-global-espionage action film franchise has had a person of color in the director’s seat ever since John Singleton ("Snowfall") helmed its second film, 2003’s "2 Fast 2 Furious." Asian-American filmmaker Justin Lin ("Better Luck Tomorrow") took over the movies until Asian-Australian James Wan ("Saw") directed "Furious 7." 

"The Fate of the Furious" brings back Michelle Rodriguez ("Machete"), Chris "Ludacris" Bridges ("Empire"), Nathalie Emmanuel ("Game of Thrones") and other recurring stars of color for a new mission after leader Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel, "xXx: Return of Xander Cage") betrays the team to work for cyber terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron, "Mad Max: Fury Road").