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‘Fast and Furious’ spinoff’s box office debut shows the franchise still resonates

The “Fast and Furious” franchise logged another hit at the box office this weekend, with its spinoff “Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” raking in $60.8 million in its North American debut.

The Universal film beat out Disney’s “The Lion King” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood,” which brought in $38.2 million and $20 million domestically from Thursday through Sunday, according to data from Comscore.”The Lion King,” in its third week, has now earned nearly $1.2 billion to date worldwide.

The “Fast and Furious” film, which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham, was a big test of whether the action franchise can succeed outside of its core storyline. A sequel is a direct continuation from the previous film, while a spinoff usually centers around a popular character that takes the franchise is a different direction.

he spinoff was also a risky move for Universal. Highly-anticipated spinoffs from popular franchises have sputtered at the box office. Examples include Harry Potter’s “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” Transformers’ “Bumblebee” and Star Wars’ “Solo.” While each movie made more than $300 million at the global box office, they represent the lowest-grossing films in their respective franchises.

“‘Hobbs & Shaw’ proves that the power of the “Fast & Furious” brand, over the course of the eight original films and after almost two decades of wowing audiences, its worldwide appeal has not diminished one bit,” said Paul​ Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

The franchise also continues to be a big hit overseas. “Hobbs &Shaw” brought in $120 million internationally.

When “The Fast and the Furious,” the first film in the series, came out in 2001, 30% of its $207 million global gross was from foreign markets. Compare that to “The Fate of the Furious” in 2017: It made 81% of its $1.2 billion global gross internationally.

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