by Jakob Cole

The term “blockbuster” movie is a term thrown around. Multiple movie franchises are now trying to expand their brand into a string of movies while bringing in billions of dollars in the process. If you’re trying to find where this trend began, look no further than the Fast and Furious franchise. As of April 3, the Fast and Furious franchise will have seven films to its name, with the addition of their most recent film Furious 7.

It is highly unlikely that anyone would have predicted that this franchise would have reached this feat back in 2001, when the first film was released. Over the span of 14 years, the Fast and Furious franchise has revolutionized the genre of car action movies and set the standard for box offices success for franchises.

The first film, The Fast and the Furious, did not receive favorable critical reception, but the film’s box office success prompted them to make a sequel. With the emergence of budding stars such as Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, the franchise continued to churn out films every few years, to the delight of diehard fans. The Fast and Furious franchise has become Universal’s most lucrative franchise ever.

The sudden death of Paul Walker in November 2013 because of a car crash halted production of their upcoming film Furious 7. “I was stunned when I heard about Walker’s death. He was one of my favorite actors,” said sophomore Daniel Palacios. To supplant for Walker’s death, his brothers, Caleb and Cody, stepped in as Walker’s character in the remaining scenes to fill some gaps left in production.

The seventh installment, Furious 7, brought back the same action sequences and car chases, as well as said its last goodbye to Walker. “I was pleased with how they dealt with his character’s story. I gave him the farewell he deserved,” said sophomore Stephen Tran.

In the process, Furious 7 had an impeccable performance at the box office, bringing in $143.6 million in its opening weekend. This figure represents the 9th highest grossing opening weekends in history.

The Fast and Furious Franchise has had an amazing run in the past 14 years, and it does not seem as though they are ready to stop. With the box office success of the franchise, it would be foolish to think that there couldn’t be an 8th, 9th, maybe even a 10th installment of the franchise. It’s safe to say that the Fast and Furious franchise is in it for the long haul.

AP Images