'Fast & Furious' rolls over Will Smith's 'After Earth'

Sun Jun 2, 2013 4:47pm EDT
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By Lisa Richwine and Andrea Burzynski

(Reuters) - Car chase sequel "Fast & Furious 6" kept racing at U.S. and Canadian box offices, outpacing rival movies for a second straight weekend and finishing far in front of Will Smith's new sci-fi film "After Earth."

"Fast & Furious" racked up $34.5 million from Friday through Sunday, according to studio estimates. The sixth installment in the billion-dollar franchise takes the action to London, where stars Vin Diesel and Dwyane Johnson lead their crew on a mission to take down an international ring of mercenary drivers.

Comedy heist caper "Now You See Me" yielded a stronger-than-expected $28.1 million in its debut at U.S. and Canadian theaters, finishing second.

The post-apocalyptic "After Earth," starring Smith and his teenage son, Jaden Smith, placed third with $27 million. Analysts had expected a $35-million to $40-million opening.

"Fast & Furious" maintained its speed after a roaring debut over Memorial Day weekend. Worldwide ticket sales reached $480.6 million through Sunday, according to Universal Pictures, the Comcast Corp unit that released the movie.

Distributor Universal said that "Fast 6" has outearned international lifetime totals for each of the first four films in the franchise, and was on track to surpass the fifth.

Critically panned "After Earth" settled for a third-place debut.

The $130-million production takes place 1,000 years after an apocalypse forced humans to abandon Earth. A boy and his father become stranded on the planet after a crash landing and look for help.   Continued...

Cast member and producer Vin Diesel poses at the premiere of the new film, "Fast & Furious 6" at Universal Citywalk in Los Angeles May 21, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser