Furious 7 & Paul Walker Get Huge Box-Office Love

Photo courtesy Universal Pictures
People really, really like car chase movies, guys. Like to the tune of $143.6 million. Furious 7 opened huge this weekend, and just broke the record for an April movie (previously held by Captain America: Winter Soldier). It's also the biggest movie in its own franchise, outselling Fast and Furious 6 by 48 percent, according to Deadline. One more number for you: It's the ninth biggest opening ever.

Why are so many people showing up for the seventh movie in a franchise that used to be mocked for its unoriginal sequel titles? Yes, the aforementioned love of car chases. And let's be honest, we love the a good action flick. But there's also the phenomenon of the death of one of its beloved stars, Paul Walker, almost two years ago. The remaining cast paid tearful tribute to Walker, who died as the passenger in a fiery car crash himself, all throughout their press tour for Furious 7. One has to expect there was a bit of curiosity mixed with nostalgia pulling in some of the crowds, who are seeing the film as a tribute to Walker.

Not so surprisingly, Universal Pictures' president of domestic distribution Nick Carpou credited the time of year for the movie's success, not Walker nostalgia. On holiday weekends, apparently people either head out to the theater with their families, or they go to escape them. "Being first in the marketplace this year with such a big franchise certainly helped us," he told Deadline.

There's also the fact that the movie opened against, well, a Helen Mirren film, Woman in Gold. We just might have to make a double feature out of those two.

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