Rodriguez Helps Propel “Fast & Furious 6” to the Top of the Global Box Office Charts

Michelle Rodriguez’s return from the dead has helped make Fast & Furious 6 an insta-hit at the global box office…

Fast & Furious 6 took top honors at the Memorial Day box office in the United States with $120 million for a worldwide total of $317 million — a franchise best and the biggest debut of all time for Universal Pictures.

Michelle Rodriguez

The action pic has taken in $197 million internationally, including $17 million earned since opening last weekend in the U.K. and Ireland.

Fast 6, which cost $160 million to make, even zoomed past The Hangover Part III, the final installment in Todd Phillips‘ R-rated comedy franchise.

Boosting Fast 6‘s stellar performance were an A CinemaScore and the strong turnout among minorities, while Hangover III could have been hurt by a B CinemaScore (the last film received an A- CinemaScore) and poor reviews.

Specifically, Fast 6 benefited mightily from Latinos, who made up 32 percent of the audience and are the most frequent moviegoers in the U.S.

“This isn’t just a car racing movie anymore. It’s an action pic with broad appeal,” said Universal president of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco, noting how unusual it is for a franchise to gain such strength with time. “And it played to a tremendously diverse audience.”

Along with the return of Rodriguez’s Letty, Fast 6 sees the return of stars Van Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and Jordana Brewster.

Overseas, Fast 6 has placed No. 1 in each of the 60 territories where it has opened. The pic earned $160.3 million over the weekend proper, and $180 million for the four-day weekend (Monday is a holiday in many countries). Fast 6 nabbed the biggest opening of all time in the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East and Argentina.

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