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'Fate of the Furious' races to biggest global box office opening ever

Zeus 12 April 16

The eighth film in the popular "Fast and Furious" franchise raced to an estimated $532.5 million box office opening around the world this weekend, according to its studio Universal Pictures.

That total beats the global record held by Disney (DIS)'s "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which made $529 million worldwide its opening weekend in 2015.

There's one caveat: "Force Awakens" didn't have the benefit of opening in the world's second largest movie market, China, until a month after it was initially released.

"Fate," meanwhile, opened in North America and 63 international markets, including China, the U.K. and Mexico.

"Fate" also broke box office records for bringing in the biggest international opening in movie history. The film made an estimated $432.3 million overseas, which lapped the record $316 million that "Jurassic World" made abroad in 2015. Domestically, "Fate" made an estimated $100.2 million over the weekend.

Final numbers will come in Monday, and they could fluctuate. But for now, "Fate" holds the record.

The film, which stars Vin Diesel and was directed by F. Gary Gray, is the highest-grossing opening for an African American director ever, according to Universal.

vin diesel fate of the furious
"The Fate of the Furious" revved its engines at the worldwide box office this weekend.

The film also drove past records in China, a growing movie market. It nabbed the country's biggest three-day opening of all time.

The record-breaking weekend of "Fate of the Furious" is good news for the future of 16-year old series. Universal has already announced a ninth and tenth installment for 2019 and 2021.

"This is an astonishing feat for a decade and a half old franchise that launched as a marginalized car culture movie with no stars and no imaginings of a long-term franchise future," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore (SCOR).

CNNMoney (New York) First published April 16, 2017: 11:59 AM ET