‘Fast and Furious’ pulls in biggest opening weekend of year
‘Fast and Furious’ pulls in biggest opening weekend of year

Top 10

1. “Fast & Furious,”$72.5 million.

2. “Monsters vs. Aliens,”$33.5 million.

3. “The Haunting in Connecticut,”$9.6 million.

4. “Knowing,”$8.1 million.

5. “I Love You, Man,”$7.9 million.

6. “Adventureland,”$6 million.

7. “Duplicity,”$4.3 million.

8. “Race to Witch Mountain,”$3.4 million.

9. “12 Rounds,”$2.3 million.

10. “Sunshine Cleaning,”$1.9 million.

“Fast & Furious” left the competition in the dust with a $72.5 million opening weekend, the best so far this year.

That topped last weekend’s $59.3 million debut for DreamWorks Animation’s “Monsters vs. Aliens,” which slipped to second place with $33.5 million, raising its 10-day total to $105.7 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Universal’s “Fast & Furious” also raced to a record for April debuts, easily passing the previous best of $42.2 million set in 2003 by “Anger Management.”

“It’s summer time in April,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box office tracker Media By Numbers. “We’ve seen the summer season stretch from what used to be Memorial Day through Labor Day, then the first of May through Labor Day. Now maybe with ‘Fast & Furious,’ it’s going to be early April as the beginning of summer.”

The weekend’s other new wide release, Miramax’s 1980s nostalgia comedy “Adventureland,” debuted at No. 6 with $6 million. The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart as summer workers at a second-rate theme park in the late ’80s.

The fourth installment of the “Fast and the Furious” street-racing franchise brings back the four stars of the 2001 original — Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster. The new movie has Diesel’s fugitive driver and Walker’s undercover cop reteaming for more illegal races as they take on a murderous drug lord.

The reunion paid off for distributor Universal, which also pulled in $30.1 million in 32 other countries where “Fast & Furious” was playing.

“Fast & Furious” paced Hollywood to another huge weekend, with overall revenues at $160 million, up 68 percent from the same period last year.

For the year, domestic revenues are running at a record pace of $2.57 billion, up 14.5 percent from 2008’s, according to Media By Numbers. Factoring in 2009’s higher ticket prices, movie attendance is running 12.8 percent ahead of last year’s.