'Furious 7' could hit $400 million in China, set to lap 'Transformers' in days

'Furious 7' could hit $400 million in China, set to lap 'Transformers' in days
Tyrese Gibson, from left, Michelle Rodriguez, Paul Walker and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges in a scene from "Furious 7." (Scott Garfield / AP)

With $250 million in its trunk after just eight days in Chinese theaters, "Furious 7" is likely to surpass "Transformers: Age of Extinction" this week as the mainland's top grossing film ever, analysts said Tuesday.

The seventh installment in Universal Pictures' "Fast & Furious" franchise has roared out of the gates since its release in China on April 12 and could top $400 million in the country, analysts from film industry consulting firm Artisan Gateway estimated. The fourth "Transformers" earned nearly $306 million in China last summer.

Worldwide, "Furious 7" has now hauled in more than $1.1 billion and has become the fastest film to reach the $1-billion mark. It has made about $300 million in the U.S. and Canada, where it opened more than a week ahead of China.

"Furious" has steamrolled the competition at the Chinese box office. It accounted for nearly 86% of ticket sales in the seven days ending Sunday, data from Artisan showed.

Year to date, China's box-office grosses have now surpassed $2 billion.

In a distant second place for the week was the Chinese romance "Ever Since We Love," starring Fan Bingbing, which opened with $11.6 million.

The Chinese special-forces action film "Wolf Warriors," meanwhile, lost serious momentum, earning $8.7 million in its second full week in theaters after a fast start. The movie, directed by Wu Jing, has taken in $79.6 million since its April 2 release.

Rounding out the top five for the week were the Johnny Depp-starrer “Mortdecai,” which earned just $2.1 million, and the Chinese-language romance “The Queens,” which sold $1.9 million in tickets.

Follow @JulieMakLAT for news from China