By Barry Janoff
May 25, 2016: Anticipating the scheduled release next year of the eighth movie in The Fast and the Furious franchise, Universal Pictures is going back to where it all started.
Universal Pictures plans to re-release The Fast and the Furious in a "limited nadtionwide theatrical run" on Wednesday, June 22, to commemorate the film's 15th anniversary.
Universal said that The Fast and the Furious was released on the same day in June 2001.
Universal is supporting with a multi-media campaign, including a dedicated trailer, Internet and social media.
All told, the franchise has released seven films.
The seven Furious films have taken in almost $1.3 billion in the U.S. and close to another $3.4 billion worldwide, per BoxOfficeMojo.com.
The Fast and the Furious original brought together the now famous cast of Vin Diesel (Dom Toretto), Paul Walker (Brian O'Conner), Jordana Brewster (Mia Toretto) and Michelle Rodriguez (Letty). The film was directed by Rob Cohen.
Walker died at the age of 40 in a car crash on Nov. 13, 2013.
When it was released, The New York Times wrote in a review, "Neither fast nor furious, this film belongs in the section of the supermarket where blah-white labels and big block lettering denote brandless cigarettes, vodka, crushed pineapple and, in this case, action picture . . . The only relief from the mundane story points is the wheel-man choreography." (See the full review here.)
The first Fast and the Furious, which had a budget of about $38 million, earned more than $40 million during its opening weekend and has taken in more than $206 million worldwide to date, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
Of the seven films, 2015's Furious 7 heads the box office chart, which garnered more than $147 million its opening weekend and has taken in more than $1.5 billion worldwide to date, per Universal.
"All of us who make the Fast and Furious movies know we are part of a family that spreads all around the world," series producer Neal H. Moritz said in a statement. "And we are happy to invite our fans to revisit where it all began back on the big screen.
"While we are hard at work making Number Eight, we are thankful to take this moment and celebrate the original that started us off," said Moritz.
The next film, currently under the working titles Fast 8 and Furious 8, stars Diesel, Rodriquez, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson and Kurt Russell. It is scheduled for release in April 2017.
As Diesel said in the first movie, "Let's go for a little ride."
Advance tickets for The Fast and the Furious re-release are available at Fandango.com.
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