Furious 7: The Paul Walker Connection and the Summer Blockbuster theory

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Paul Walker seems to be lost in thought as the rest of the Fast Five crew take their positions. [By Jack Zalium (P1050678) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

Fast and Furious 7 continues to make a killing at the box-office.

It would be interesting to note, though, that this big turn-out at the box office seems to come from the demise of one of the stars, Paul Walker. Furious 7, in a report from Fortune, created a record for April movies. It?s garnered the most out of any movie that released during the summer, and it might just be because of the drawing power of Paul Walker?s untimely demise.

This is also the topic in SMH Australia?s report. With Walker gone, how would the movie move forward? Are there any more sequels being planned for it, or is it the final farewell? We take a look at how a powerful death can affect movie sales?and shamelessly become a source for filmmakers unknowingly or knowingly making a buck based on the appeal by a deceased star.

Paul Walker power-appeal

There?s no doubt that Paul Walker would be flashing his trademark grin if he were alive today. Fast and Furious 7 grossed about $143.7 million during its opening weekend, adding to the total of the Fast and Furious franchise?a whopping $2.7 billion worldwide. It edges out, according to Fortune, The Walt Disney Company?s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, whose own opening weekend translated to $95 million last year.

It?s important to note that one of the stars, Paul Walker, died in a tragic car crash that cut his life and career short. Questions that should be asked is how would the film have done if he were alive? Presumably, it would have still been a hit among fans of the franchise, but it is questionable if it would have translated to this big opening weekend.

A Fitting Farewell

The Fast and Furious 7 movie gave a fitting farewell to Walker?s legacy in the film. The full spoiler can be seen in the SMH Australia article, but we discuss how the film handled the demise of one of its main characters.

Althroughout the series, the theme of family is clearly projected across audiences. Brian O?Connor (Walker) and Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) were more than just teammates?they were brothers. So it should only be fitting that the film gives a final tribute to that and to one of its stars.

Did they, however, cash in by including their farewell to Paul Walker in the film? With his death, Walker gave the Fast and Furious franchise an even bigger boost. Perhaps it wasn?t at all in the plans to use this demise of Walker as a crowd-drawer, and the film does have its good parts. But one can?t help but wonder about this fact.

Handling it well

Still, Paul Walker received his fitting ?ride into the sunset? with Furious 7, and fans?casual and hardcore alike?trooped to the cinemas in what could also be described as their own way of remembering Brian O? Connor?s real-life counterpart. All in all, the opening weekend record-maker could be a fitting gift to honor Walker?s memory.


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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