FROM MTV MOVIES: "Fast Five" won the box-office race over the weekend and sped through several records in the process. The ensemble action flick's estimated $83.6 million opening was not only the best yet for the "Fast and Furious" franchise but the biggest opening of 2011 thus far (sorry, "Rio"), the largest in Universal Pictures history (beating "The Lost World: Jurassic Park") and the third-highest opening outside of the holiday or summer seasons. Overall, "Fast Five" gave the box office a 52 percent boost.
Co-producer and star Vin Diesel can also celebrate the movie's solid reviews. Set in Rio and uniting stars from the previous films for a heist story a bit removed from the franchise's street-racing roots, "Fast Five" is the first in the series to win over critics. Each previous "Fast and Furious" movie, including the 2001 original, was overwhelmingly panned, but "Fast Five" boasted a 79 percent positive critical rating on movie review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes at press time.
"Fast Five" clearly benefited from its ethnically diverse cast — which includes Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges — as well as its international setting. It made $45.3 million overseas, and in the U.S., the mostly male audience was 35 percent white, 33 percent Hispanic, 19 percent African-American and 9 percent Asian, according to Universal.