‘Furious 7’ races to top of N. American box office


LOS ANGELES–The latest ��Fast and Furious�� installment roared to pole position in the North American box office this weekend, easily overtaking last week’s winner ��Home�� for the top spot, according to industry data Monday. ��Furious 7,�� the seventh in the street-racing and stunt-filled franchise, pulled in a whopping US$147.2 million on its opening weekend, according to figures from box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. The film features the late Paul Walker, who was killed in an unrelated car crash in November 2013 while the film was still in production. ��Going well beyond a pitch-perfect marketing campaign and a great release date, the enthusiastic and devoted fan base came out in droves to support the franchise and the late Paul Walker �X and the results are staggering,�� senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian, of the box office tracker Rentrak, said in a statement. In second place was animated children’s film ��Home,�� about an unpopular space alien forced to flee his own kind. It earned US$27 million.

Pulling in US$13.1 million and scoring third place was buddy comedy ��Get Hard,�� about a prison-bound white investment banker (Will Ferrell) who hires a black car washer (Kevin Hart) for lessons on surviving the slammer. Disney’s live action ��Cinderella�� remake worked its magic to stay in fourth place, earning US$10.2 million, with ��Downton Abbey�� star Lily James as the enchanted princess and Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother. Dystopian action thriller ��Insurgent,�� the second big-screen instalment based on Veronica Roth’s best-selling ��Divergent�� book series, fell to fifth with US$10.1 million. Indie horror flick ��It Follows,�� took sixth place and US$2.5 million in ticket sales.