ibusinesslines.com June 29, 2017

F. Gary Gray Is Now The Highest-Grossing Black Director In History

20 April 2017, 04:08 | Myron Mathis

F. Gary Gray Is Now The Highest-Grossing Black Director In History

Actors Tyrese Gibson Nathalie Emmanuell Vin Diesel and Ludacris attend'The Fate of the Furious New York premiere at Radio City Music Hall in New York US Apr 8 2017. Reuters

Having grossed $4.4 billion worldwide and counting, Universal Pictures' most successful franchise in history now has one mantra: Bigger is better. That's down from 6th to $400 million (19 days). They said that the "The Fate of the Furious" had a budget of $250 million, indicating that the numbers gained this weekend is a good start for the film. "The Fate of the Furious" lacks heartfelt meaning that its counterparts secured.

In Malaysia, the movie has generated US$6.8 million for its opening weekend - which is equal to RM29.9 million - since its release last week. The previous record holder was "Jurassic World" with $316.7 million.

Furious 8 completely dominated screens this weekend - after a sluggish first quarter, restless theater managers allotted nearly three out of every four showtimes to the film - and accounted for 90 percent of all weekend moviegoing business, squeezing out what little competition remained.

China is "a safety net right now for Hollywood", said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst at Exhibitor Relations Co. Others think the film will come in closer to $280 million. Earning an estimated $532.5 million worldwide, it set a new record for a global debut, eclipsing 2016's standout hit, Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($529 million). Shaw then becomes Toretto's main rival in Fast & Furious 7.

"Beauty" earned another $13.7 million to bring its five-week domestic take to $454.7 million but, as with "The Fate of the Furious", the Disney fairytale starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens is doing its biggest business overseas. Universal has already announced a ninth and tenth installment for 2019 and 2021.

It's easy to see why.

Directed by F Gary Gray, the film features Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez and Scott Eastwood to name a few in the key roles. The diverse cast, themes of brotherly love, and James Bond-style stunts are credited with drawing a healthy mix of moviegoers.

Its nearest competitor was The Boss Baby, which took a further $15.5m (£12.4m) to land second place.

Beauty and The Beast live action has now gone well over a billion globally and this week is at number 3 with a total gross of $1.04 billion.

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