For less than a week’s work, over $174 million isn’t so bad. Add another $250 million on top of that for overseas box office, and “Furious 7” is off and running.
The latest installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise went ahead despite the death of star Paul Walker a year a half ago, using a mix of CGI and body doubles to keep his character in the film.
“I love these movies,” says Wesley Morris, film critic at Grantland. “They’re so much better made than they even need to be.”
This isn’t high art, Morris says, but a highly entertaining series of impossible stunts, gaining praise form critics and filmgoers alike. The cast is also more racially diverse than the average blockbuster, encouraging a broader audience to go out and buy tickets.
“I think the number is 75 percent non-white — the audience,” Morris said, but here’s a note for distributors growing smug about their profit margins. “People think that Universal has the multiracial, multiethnic thing locked up, right? I think they have the ‘Fast and Furious’ thing locked up.”
And to retain audiences long-term, studios will have to offer more than sleek cars and an appealing ensemble cast.
“People don’t only want to see brown people drive cars and rob banks,” Morris said. “With the right the people and the right story, you can have a diverse cast without calling attention to the fact that you have a diverse cast.”
As for Furious 7, you don’t have to see the prior six to enjoy it, Morris says. All you need is a healthy appreciation for cars parachuting backward out of cargo planes.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.