The action behemoth has became the third film to cross the milestone as Universal’s international distribution chief hailed its broad appeal, enduring love for Paul Walker, “immediate repeat viewings” and a huge result in China.
Overall the film grossed a confirmed $70m from 67 territories in the fourth weekend to turbo-boost the running total to $1.001bn. Only Avatar on $2.027bn and Titanic on $1.528bn have gone higher internationally.
Fast & Furious 7 became the biggest release ever in China as an estimated $35m weekend haul elevated the tally to $325.8m after 15 days, overtaking the previous $319m mark set by Transformers 4.
Universal’s tentpole ranks fifth in the worldwide box office pantheon on $1.321bn factoring in the $320.1m from North America, where it held on to pole position.
The top four are Avatar on $2.8bn, Titanic on $2.2bn, The Avengers on $1.5bn and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 on $1.341bn.
“We ticked all the boxes of success in every territory,” said Duncan Clark, president of international distribution, Universal. “We’ve got a great movie and we took Vin [Diesel] to Beijing for the first time and Jason [Statham] and that was the icing on the cake in terms of [anticipation by Chinese audiences.]
“We opened on a Sunday, which is [unusual] and it created a tremendous buzz for the late Saturday shows and gave us a tremendous impetus.”
Turning to the film’s international performance as a whole, Clark paid tribute to “the Paul factor”, referring to the wide following for late cast member Paul Walker that played its part alongside the popularity of the ethnically diverse cast and boosted the female audience.
The executive also cited anecdotal evidence from the studio’s network of international colleagues of “immediate repeat viewings everywhere”.
Clark concluded: “We’ve also had great success this year with Fifty Shades Of Grey and now we’re looking forward to Jurassic World, Minions and Ted 2.”
Turning to individual territories, the UK has generated $51.6m for Fast & Furious 7 via Universal Pictures International, Mexico $49.2m, Brazil $40m, Germany $35m, Russia $31.2m, Australia $30.9m and France $28.3m.
Venezuela has delivered $24.9m, India $24.4m Taiwan $24.5m, South Korea $23.5m, Argentina $23m, Italy $19.5m and the Middle East $18.2m.
Fast & Furious 7 ranks as the highest grossing film of all films all time in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Trinidad.
It is already Universal’s highest grossing film of all time in 37 territories, among them China, Australia, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.