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'Furious 7' crosses $1 billion at worldwide box office

'Furious 7' is crossing the $1-billion worldwide box-office mark in a record 17 days

"Furious 7" is joining the billion-dollar box-office club in record time. 

The Universal Pictures blockbuster is set to cross the $1-billion worldwide box-office mark in just 17 days, the studio said Friday.

It's the fastest film to reach the milestone, clocking in ahead of even Disney/Marvel's "The Avengers" (2012), 20th Century Fox's "Avatar" (2009) and Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" (2011). Those three films got to $1 billion in 19 days. 

The global total for "Furious 7" consists of $273.7 million from the U.S. and Canada and a staggering $735.2 million from overseas, with foreign accounting for about 73% of grosses. 

The movie is also 103-year-old Universal's first to hit $1 billion in its initial theatrical run, marking a high point for the long-running, high-octane "Fast & Furious" series. 

It's now the 20th film added to the list of billion-dollar-grossing films, topped by "Avatar" ($2.79 billion) and "Titanic" ($2.19 billion). 

Universal's domestic distribution president, Nick Carpou, and international distribution head Duncan Clark celebrated the achievement in a statement. 

“What started as a small film about the street racing sub-culture of East Los Angeles has become a global phenomenon with 'Furious 7' shattering records in so many territories around the globe,” said Clark.

The movie has done particularly well in China, where it posted the biggest opening day ever ($63.5 million), crushing the previous record held by "Transformers: Age of Extinction" ($36 million).

NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer said in a blog post that he was "incredibly proud" of the Universal film team, and noted the handling of the death of franchise star Paul Walker. The actor died in a car crash unrelated to the movie while "Furious 7" was in the middle of production.

"[O]ur team [...] did what they do best: They focused on family first; then talked to the fans; then got to work on making a great film that we can all be proud of," Meyer wrote. "We were all saddened and honored to be a part of Paul’s final career performance and to celebrate his defining role in our lives."

The next movie with a good chance to nab $1 billion at the global box office is "Avengers: Age of Ultron," which hits U.S. theaters in May. The original "Avengers" amassed $1.52 billion. 

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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