'Fast X' races to the top of the box office for biggest international launch of 2023

Universal Pictures' "Fast X" raced to the top of the box office this weekend, launching at $67.5 million domestically, according to studio estimates.

The summer action flick matched early box office projections, which anticipated that the film would gross more than $60 million in the United States and Canada.

Internationally, "Fast X" opened to $251 million for a global cumulative total of nearly $319 million. Abroad, the only "Fast & Furious" movie ever to beat that number is "The Fate of the Furious" in 2017.

The blockbuster has notched the biggest international debut of 2023 and the second best global launch of the year — behind Universal Pictures' "The Super Mario Bros. Movie."

The 10th installment of the "Fast and Furious" franchise dethroned Disney and Marvel Studios' "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," which slipped into second place, adding $32 million in its third weekend for a North American cumulative of $266.5 million.

Rounding out the top three was "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," which collected $9.8 million in its seventh weekend for a domestic total of $549.3 million, according to estimates from measurement firm Comscore.

Directed by Louis Leterrier, "Fast X" gathers Vin Diesel, Charlize Theron, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, John Cena, Nathalie Emmanuel, Brie Larson, Jordana Brewster, Jason Statham and Sung Kang for one big, outrageous family reunion. The sequel also features franchise newcomers Alan Ritchson, Daniela Melchior and Jason Momoa.

The latest jaunt in the "Fast and Furious" saga received a tepid response from critics, earning a 54% rotten rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes and a B-plus grade from audiences polled by CinemaScore.

"The problems with 'Fast X' exist on a more structural story level," wrote film critic Katie Walsh for the Tribune News Service. "It feels like Leterrier and the writers are just digging up loose familial relations and celebrity cameos and throwing characters together for the heck of it, tossing Oscar-winning actresses (count ‘em: four) in the audience’s face to create a distraction from the other weaknesses in the script."

Next weekend, opening in wide release is Disney's live-action remake of "The Little Mermaid," as well as Open Road Films' "Kandahar," Sony Pictures' "The Machine" and Lionsgate's "About My Father."

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.