'Furious 7' Shows Rise of China's Consumer

Premier Li is seeking to foster consumption to pick up some of the growth slack

'Furious 7' races past $800 million globally
A Chinese filmgoer walks past a cutout of the movie "Furious 7" at a cinema in Yichang city, central China's Hubei province, 12 April 2015. International weekend estimates are now in from all of the studios with Furious 7 far and away the leader of the pack, adding $195 million this frame at 22,000 theaters in 66 territories. That's a slight 20.4% drop from its opening and brings the offshore cume to $548 million through Sunday (12 April 2015). The 11 days it took to pass $500 million internationally is a record-setter for Universal. The worldwide cume is now$800.5 million after 12 days, pushing the Fast & Furious franchise above $3 billion to more than $3.18 billion through the weekend. The seventh squel held pole position in all 63 territories where it was released last week and opened No.1 in Russia, China and Poland this frame. China sped off to an estimated $68.6 million from midnights and the day on Sunday. Per Uni, that is the highest box office, widest release and biggest attendance ever in one day for the Middle Kingdom.

Vin Diesel has just given Chinese Premier Li Keqiang something to smile about.

Beset by a property slump, overcapacity and question marks over external demand, Li is seeking to foster consumption to pick up some of the growth slack. Enter Diesel and co.

The latest “Fast and Furious” car-chase movie sequel smashed the record for China’s biggest one-day box office haul, taking in $63.2 million and easily surpassing previous record holder “Transformers 4,” according to data from EntGroup Inc., a Chinese entertainment research agency.

Perhaps the fast and furious gains on China's retail-driven stock market are fueling a wealth effect. 

In 2014, consumption accounted for 51.2 percent of the economy’s expansion. Ticket sales of `Furious 7' suggest China's transition toward more consumption-led growth is gathering speed.

First quarter gross domestic product data due Wednesday is forecast by analysts to show the economy expanded 7 percent from a year earlier, the slowest pace since the first three months of 2009. That may prompt Li to add stimulus to get the economy revving again.

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