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‘Fast Five’ Will Transition Franchise From Street Racing To Future Full Of Heist Action

By | Monday April 25, 2011 @ 6:47pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: No one’s been harder on Universal than me for all its recent years of misses and no hits (if you don’t count Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me and Hop). So I’m relieved that the studio has a big fat blockbuster overseas in Fast Five, which releases into North American theaters this Friday as the fifth installment of the very popular street racing franchise. But here’s what really gives me reason to think Universal might be back on the right track: what’s planned for Fast Six. No studio has ever dared to change the genre of a successful franchise, but I’ve learned that’s exactly what chairman Adam Fogelson and co-chairman Donna Langley are plotting. It’s a bold and provocative move. In summary, I like it.

It’s already known that Universal has started Chris Morgan – the screenwriter of Fast Five as well as The Fast And The Furious 3: Tokyo Drift,  and Fast & Furious 4 — on the script for the sixth installment as part of his new production deal at the studio. But Morgan is also a great scripter of the crime-thriller genre, like Wanted. So what Fast Five sets up nicely is a Fast Six whose plot revolves around a major robbery. And Universal’s intent is to transform the street-racing franchise into a series of heist films.

It was Universal’s previous administration of chairman Marc Shmuger and co-chairman David Linde who put the original cast back together on … Read More »

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‘Fast Five’ Runs Over ‘Thor 3D’ In Australia

By | Thursday April 21, 2011 @ 10:10am PDT


Well, this is a surprising start for the first two big films of Summer 2011. Marvel/Disney’s Thor 3D distributor Paramount opened on Thursday in Down Under thinking its Norse God would steal Fast Five‘s thunder from Universal, which opened its street car racing pic the day before. Didn’t happen. Day Two of Fast Five beat Thor by 38% — $2.02 million U.S. dollars vs $1.5 million U.S. dollars — even though both films are playing in the same number of theaters (220), Fast Five is only 2D so can’t command the higher 3D ticket prices, and Thor‘s lead Chris Hemsworth is Australian. Universal is crowing that its Day 2 of Fast Five was ahead of Iron Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 and its cume there is now $4.43 million U.S. dollars. Meanwhile, also today, Fast Five‘s previews in Korea are running 34% bigger than Fast And Furious (the fourquel in the franchise). In North America, Fast Five opens April 29 and Thor on May 6.

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