Fast & Furious 6, the latest instalment in the Hollywood action movie series, has smashed box office records in the UAE, raking in AED13.8m ($3.75m) in its opening weekend, more than AED3m more than the previous record set by Iron Man 3.
The movie, which is set in London and stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Michelle Rodriguez, was screened in a massive 114 screens across the UAE when it was released on the weekend of May 23.
Over the weekend it earned AED13.8bn and was seen by 358,339 cinemagoers. This was compared to the second most popular movie over the weekend, The Great Gatsby, which has earned AED3.5m after two weeks on release, was shown in just 24 screens and was attended by 72,265 movie fans.
The massive haul at the box office means the sixth instalment of the Hollywood franchise has knocked the previous record holder, Iron Man 3, off the top spot. The third movie in the Marvel Comics superhero trilogy earned AED10.7m in its opening weekend when it was released on May 2.
Other major box office draws in the country over the past year or so have been: Mission Impossible 4, which took in more than $6m in the 12 months after opening; Transformers 3 at $4.19m; and Pirates of the Caribbean 4 at $3.75m.
The popularity of Fast and Furious 6 comes as it was revealed the seventh instalment is set to be filmed in the Middle East, one of the lead actors has revealed.
"We will have a stint in Tokyo and there is the Middle East next, that could be very interesting," American actor Vin Diesel told the DigitalSpy movie website while promoting Fast & Furious 6.
Fast & Furious 7 will begin filming in September and is set for a July 2014 summer release. No details on exact locations have been revealed but the seventh film is expected to be the first in a new trilogy for the popular adrenaline-packed, car-focused franchise.
Released on May 24, the London-based sixth instalment had a budget of around $160m and has already earned around $405m at box offices around the world.
The six movies in the franchise have now earned a total of nearly $2bn since they were launched in 2001.