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April 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Talk about “fast and furious!” Universal’s Furious 7 vroomed off to a $51.8-million total at the box office on Friday, the third-biggest Friday haul in box-office history, behind only The Avengers with $61 million and Iron Man 3 with $53.2 million. Together with the $15.8 million in ticket sales for limited preview screenings at midnight the previous day, the film has already earned $67.3 million. Reviews for the film were generally positive, but with little unqualified praise. Peter Howell in the Toronto Star advised, “Put your brain in neutral and enjoy the ride.” Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune observed that the franchise has become “the Indy 500 of the movies: a reliable if repetitive ode to fossil fuel.” Several critics noted that the loss of Paul Walker — he died in a speed-related auto accident in 2013 — is handled astutely in the script, in the technology (his face is digitally mounted onto the heads of several look-alike actors, including Walker’s two brothers — and in the closing tribute, which replaces the usual outtakes real of the previous films. A.O. Scott in the New York Times remarked that some of the scenes with Walker “remind you what these movies have always been about, underneath all the noise and the bravado: the ferocity of friendship and the terrible speed of loss.” With kids out of school for the spring break, DreamWorks Animation’s Home also performed solidly on Friday, drawing $11.3 million. But ticket sales for the Will Ferrell/Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard plunged 63 percent versus Friday a week ago to just $5 million.