For the longest time, people have been citing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the biggest reason why the Fast & Furious franchise went from being on route to ‘straight to DVD’ territory to one of the most successful film franchises of all time. However, the opening weekend box office numbers of Hobbs & Shaw may tell a different story.
At the NORTH AMERICAN box office, Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw starring The Rock and Jason Statham grossed $US 60 million in its first weekend. While the number isn’t too shabby in its own right, it’s still the lowest North American opening weekend of the franchise since 2006’s Tokyo Drift‘s $US 23.9 million. Fast and Furious (4), which brings back Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez but doesn’t star The Rock raked in $US 70.9 million opening weekend.
The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth movie, which sees The Rock opposite and alongside the original cast of characters raked in $US 86 million, $US 97 million, $US 147 million and $US 98 million respectively. And then we have Hobbs & Shaw — the franchise’s first spinoff — which doesn’t star Vin Diesel, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris and the rest of the gang.
The Rock may have been the reason why people in North America started watching the Fast & Furious franchise again, but he may not be the reason why they stuck around. (Of course, it’s difficult to say for sure until we have a look a Fast & Furious 9‘s box office receipts next year. Fast & Furious 9 will be the first F&F movie since the fourth that doesn’t star The Rock.)
Outside of North America, Hobbs & Shaw grossed $US 120 million opening weekend, putting its opening weekend global total at approximately $US 180.8 million — a far cry from The Fate of the Furious’ $US 541.9 million and Furious 7‘s $US 397.6 million. There is one very important factor to keep in mind, though: Hobbs & Shaw is yet to open in China, a country in which this franchise is an immovable force of nature. Fast & Furious 6 grossed $US 66 million in China, which is a pretty big number. However, Furious 7 raked in a staggering $US 390 million there. And The Fate of the Furious? $US 392 million.
The Rock may not be a box office magnet in North America, but over in China, it’s a completely different story. Even the Diehard ripoff Skyscraper grossed over $US 98 million in China, which is about one-third of its total global gross of $US 304 million. There is very little doubt in my mind that Hobbs & Shaw will rake in at least, $US 220 million in China by the end of its run.
Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw is currently screening in Malaysian cinemas.