Universal’s Fast & Furious 9 will launch in China on May 21, over a month ahead of its domestic release.
Chinese cinemas are currently accounting for 30 percent of the global box office as several top territories remain closed or cope with restricted capacity.
China has been the top box office market for the last two installments in the Fast & Furious franchise and its 2019 spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw. The previous installment in the series, 2017’s The Fate of the Furious, is the third highest-earning Hollywood title of all time in China with $388 million. It ended its run just shy of 2015’s Fast 7 $391 million, the second highest-earning title of all time in the market.
The film will also hit theaters in Russia, South Korea , Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, and markets in the Middle East during the month of May. Each of the markets to receive the film in May have cinemas currently in operation with positive signs in attendance figures despite the pandemic.
The head start start overseas will allow cinemas outside North America enjoy an extended exclusive theatrical run without the threat of piracy from a pristine digital copy of the film becoming available online under Universal’s shortened exclusivity window in the United States. The Fast & Furious franchise has increasingly relied on the overseas market to cross the billion-dollar mark at the global box office. The series ranks sixth among Hollywood IPs at the global box office, earning nearly $6 billion through 9 installments.