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The Playlist

Ranking The 'Fast And Furious' Franchise Films From Best To Worst

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 21, 2013 12:59 PM
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  • 42 Comments
Fast & Furious 6
This weekend sees the sixth (!) film in the "Fast and Furious" franchise, "Fast and Furious 6" (or, according to director Justin Lin, just "Furious Six") race into theaters. Once thought as a kind of also-ran franchise in the Universal canon, it has quickly become one of the studio's most important properties, with each subsequent film getting bigger and more bombastic (if not genuinely better). Sure, these movies might not be high art but they are consistently entertaining in a way that few Hollywood franchises are, full of muscle cars and beautiful women and tough guys who pummel each other just for the heck of it. In the spirit of "Fast and Furious," we thought we would run down every entry in the entire franchise, from best to worst. So put on your tiniest muscle shirt, grab that energy drink, and buckle up.

Idiot Woman Sues Distributor Of 'Drive' Because It Wasn't 'Fast Five'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 9, 2011 2:37 AM
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  • 40 Comments
We've all had that feeling where we walk out of a movie and realize that we've been sold something quite different from the finished product. It's particularly prevalent with more "difficult"' projects; distributors will play up the sexier, genre-led elements in order to bring in the crowds. It's a fact of advertising, and one that most people are accepting of -- we've certainly never been left particularly angry by a trailer that feints one way, and a movie that goes another. In a world where so few surprises are left, it can actually be kind of exciting. But not for Sarah Deming.

Mission IMAXible: Tom Cruise Spy Sequel To Hit Large-Format Screens Five Days Early On Dec 16th

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 29, 2011 2:19 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Plus 'Inception,' 'Star Trek' & 'Fast Five' To Get IMAX Re-ReleasesThough overruled when it came to our fall preview last week -- too many other staff members have been burned by mediocre franchise installments in the past -- this writer is really kind of excited about "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," the fourth installment in the Tom Cruise-led spy franchise. J.J. Abrams, who got closest to getting it right with "Mission Impossible III" (which has great moments, but doesn't quite hang together), has returned to produce, there's an intriguing, eclectic cast, including Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, Tom Wilkinson, Josh Holloway, Lea Seydoux, Michael Nyqvist and Anil Kapoor, and some of the best below-the-line talent around, including "There Will Be Blood" lenser Robert Elswit and composer Michael Giacchino.

Weekend Box Office: $56 Million 'First Class' Opening Isn't X-actly What Fox Had In Mind

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • June 5, 2011 5:16 AM
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  • 13 Comments
As the only major opening of the week, it was not a surprise to see “X-Men: First Class” reign with a $56 million total. For those keeping track at home (why are you doing this?), this is the lowest-scoring opening weekend for any of the four films in the “X-Men” series save for the eleven-year old first entry, and not a particularly impressive start for the only new wide release in town. This isn’t even taking into account a summer that has seen the fifth and fourth installments of the “Fast And The Furious” and “Pirates Of The Caribbean” achieve great success.

Weekend Box Office: Despite All Warnings, Everybody Sees 'The Hangover Part II'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 29, 2011 6:58 AM
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  • 39 Comments
In the future, sequels to all our popular films will not require writers, directors, or even new talent. Sure, they might re-hire some of the people responsible for the first film, but by and large, the leading users of Xerox technology will be Hollywood executives. At least, that’s if the mammoth opening for “The Hangover Part II” is any indication, as the film took advantage of the holiday weekend to score an expected $137 million over this five day period. Critics seemed to do everything short of design spreadsheets to illustrate just how Todd Phillips and company were replicating the exact story of the first film (arguably, the marketing campaign did the same), but audiences, who loved the earlier installment enough to make it a massive word-of-mouth hit, were apparently happy enough to indulge the funnymen (not women, though -- sorry, ladies!) behind the picture one more time.

Weekend Box Office: 'Thor' Holds #1 With $34.5 million, 'Bridesmaids' Surprises

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 15, 2011 5:55 AM
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  • 21 Comments
If you enter the blockbuster business in Hollywood, you essentially enter the $80 million opening weekend business. Which is to say, it’s part of a pray/hope/accept/die model. Considering most blockbusters cost $150-$200 million, with marketing sometimes adding up to $100 million, a 3x’s multiplier after an $80 million opening ($240 million) might be the best-case scenario, unless you‘ve released a much-better-than-expected film (not likely). You double that number with overseas receipts, you’ve potentially got $480-$500 million worldwide on a possible $300 million expenditure. The studio earns 55% of that take, meaning that you’ve approached profit, with DVD and merchandising expecting to take care of the rest.

Weekend Box Office: 'Thor' Soars, Romcoms Prosper, 'Beaver' Gets Plugged

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 8, 2011 5:59 AM
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  • 4 Comments
As far as blockbuster debuts go, “Thor” didn’t perform too badly. The first big release of May thundered its way to a $66 million weekend, slightly above what industry analysts predicted for the God of Thunder. The film benefited from the biggest 3D berth of any major release thus far as well as the mighty marketing team of Paramount and Marvel to nab numbers that, on the surface, show potential to be a franchise-starter.

Weekend Box Office: 'Fast Five' Starts Off Summer With $83 Million Weekend

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • May 1, 2011 5:21 AM
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  • 27 Comments
Hooray for Hollywood, or something. The 2011 box office finally snapped out of its doldrums with more reheated crap, “Fast Five” opening to a spectacular-for-Universal $83 million. The car blockbuster’s weekend surpasses “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” as the biggest opening weekend in Universal history, and with spectacular overseas results, the film is poised to do upwards of $400-$500 million globally, topping the $353 worldwide take of “Fast And Furious,” the last film in the series.

In Theaters: 'Fast Five' Ready To Drive Over 'Prom' & 'Hoodwinked Too'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • April 29, 2011 5:04 AM
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  • 0 Comments
In theaters this week: THE ROYAL WEDDING!! JK, we already watched that this morning. Who got up at 5 am for the most splendid celebration of the year?! EEE!! So exciting, but this is neither the time nor the place for wedding recap so let's move on to entertainment of the cinematic variety. As always, there's a range of selections at the theaters, but the pickins are rather slim this weekend. Aside from the muscles n' 'splosions fest "Fast Five," from the inexplicably tenacious "Fast and Furious" franchise, there's not much else big opening this weekend. Of course, there's an offering for the children in "Hoodwinked Too" in 3D, and something called "Prom" (this is the first I'm hearing of it), and some semi-interesting looking limited releases.

Review: 'Fast Five' Keeps Enough Fuel In This Aging Franchise To Still Be Fun

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 27, 2011 2:06 AM
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  • 11 Comments
It's sort of amazing how dexterous the "Fast and the Furious" franchise has been. Originally conceived as a kind of hot rod version of "Point Break," directed by the perpetually midlife crisis-gripped Rob Cohen, complete with a trashy title lifted from an ancient American International Pictures cheapie, it has evolved over the years, with each successive sequel equipping the original concept of a sturdy undercover cop (Paul Walker) who flirts with the dark side of underground car racing (led by Vin Diesel) with new flourishes. John Singleton helmed the sequel, "2 Fast 2 Furious" and turned it into a live action anime (for better or worse it was a stylistic precursor to the Wachowskis' "Speed Racer"), while current franchise shepherd Justin Lin crafted a nifty "American Graffiti"-style one-off in "Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift," before returning all the principles to the series for the back-to-basics revenge mode of "Fast & Furious."

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