American Latinos Flooded Theaters Preferring Fast and Furious 6 over Will Smith’s After Earth — Has Racked Up $480 Million Worldwide… That’s Movie-audience Power, Baby!
By Luis Reyes
The Fast and The Furious 6 in its second weekend (5/31-6/2) has amassed a $35 million box office revenue, making its cumulative total to date surpassing$170 million after its record shattering $120 million Memorial Day Holiday weekend debut. It is the biggest opening weekend gross in the history of Universal Pictures and 32% of the audience was made up of US Hispanic/ Latinos.
Latinos account for just 17% of the US population yet accounted for 26% of US film ticket sales in 2012 according to a study provided by the Motion Picture Association of America.
The six features franchise spans over the course of ten years and has developed a cross generational following across all demographic age groups. The mix of a multi-ethnic cast (Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Paul Walker, Ludacris, Sung Kang) made up of attractive male and female stars that are tied to the original franchise with fast cars, incredible stunt action and exotic locales, has proved a winning combination.
“Were the Benelton of casting,“ said Jeff Kirschenbaum, Universal Pictures co-president of production in an interview with The WRAP on 5/27/13. He further stated, “The result is a cast that looks like many of today’s moviegoers, social media savvy, ethnic and frequently bi-lingual.”
Fast and The Furious 6 has racked up more than $480 million globally according to Box Office Mojo and still counting. It is extremely popular in Mexico which accounts for a significant international revenue stream.
Earlier this year, the low budget horror film Mama produced by Guillermo Del Toro in its debut weekend made 32 million dollars and 47% of the audience was made up of US Latinos. The film has grossed $71 million to date domestically according to Box Office Mojo on a $15 million dollar production budget.
Actress Michelle Rodriguez whose career began with the low budget Girlfight is now associated with some of the most successful films in recent history including the Fast and The Furious franchise, Resident Evil and Avatar. Rodriguez, who co-starred in Machete will next be seen in its sequel Machete Kills, due out in September. Justin Lin, the director of this latest installment of Fast and The Furious 6 is the most successful Asian-American director in Hollywood history. Born in Taiwan, he grew up in Orange County and attended UC San Diego and graduated from UCLA film school with an MFA in Film Direction. As an Asian-American, Lin was always sensitive to the way Hollywood stereotyped Asian characters and hoped he could correct that within his work as a filmmaker. Making his name as an independent film director, Lin was hired to direct the Fast and The Furious 3 :Tokyo Drift and he has been involved with the franchise ever since, bringing his own unique style and vision contributing to the ongoing successful series of sequels.