Big blockbuster movies have always been important, but they are even more essential now as more studios choose to release films in theaters and on streaming services simultaneously or, more ominously for the business, bypass theaters altogether.
It will also paint a picture on how the marketplace is reacting globally, since Fast & Furious is a distinctly global brand.
For example, 2017’s “The Fate of the Furious” brought in $1.2 billion worldwide — more than 80% from overseas ticket sales.
Conversely, if “F9” misses the mark at the box office it could present a stark picture for theaters going forward. After all, if big, crowd-pleasing, global films can’t fill seats — during the summer, of all seasons — what can?
Ultimately, there’s a lot of time between Wednesday’s trailer and the film’s June 25 release, and “F9” is not the only big film opening this year. Yet, Hollywood and theater owners will be keeping a watchful eye as the premiere approaches.
Theaters already have some evidence that audiences want to come back to the movies — for blockbusters, at least.
So if a radioactive lizard fighting a giant ape can lure crowds to the movies in March, then surely Vin Diesel running through an exploding truck as it falls off a cliff can do the same in June.