'Furious 7's Diverse Audience Could be Responsible for Film's Huge Opening Weekend

by Zach Seemayer 11:41 PM PDT, April 05, 2015
Photo: Universal Pictures

Furious 7 had one of the biggest opening weekends in movie history, and easily surpassed all other installments in the franchise. With a $143.6 million debut (and $384 million worldwide), the high-octane action thriller could be on its way to joining the Billion Dollar Club.

Many are attributing the blockbuster performance, in part, to the untimely death of star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash in November 2013.

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However, one of the surprising things that truly makes the debut so spectacular is the diversity in the film's massive audience.

Each of the movies in the Fast and Furious franchise have attracted diverse crowds. Many credit this to the film's large ensemble cast, featuring male and female leads who all come from a wide range of racial backgrounds and nationalities.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Furious 7's audience was 75% non-Caucasian, with Hispanic viewers making up 37% of ticket buyers. Caucasian viewers were the second-largest demo at 25%, followed by African American moviegoers, who made up 24%. Asian viewers made up 10% and "other" made up 4%.

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Despite the main audience demographic that action films typically advertise to is adult males, Furious 7 ended up being very evenly distributed along gender lines, with males making up only 51% of the audience.

The film also skewed older, with over 66% of the viewers over the age of 25.

Nicholas Carpou, Universal's president of domestic distribution, told THR, "Someone that I admire quite a lot recently said this is a franchise that really looks like America, and there are characters that everyone can relate to. I think that's a big plus."

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It's also likely that the franchise's longevity could have contributed to the evenly distributed gender mix, and the slightly older age range, as this is a last hurrah of sorts for the franchise that so many fans grew up with since The Fast and the Furious was released nearly 14 years ago in June 2001.

The film served as a tribute to Walker's memory as well. Check out the video below to hear from the cast on what they felt about the film celebrating the late star's legacy.