How An Extreme Movie Makeover Saved ‘Fast & Furious’ From Going Direct To DVD

Source:  Brent Lang / TheWrap

Roaring into theaters Friday, “Fast & Furious 6” is expected to generate $80 million or more over the Memorial Day weekend — astounding numbers for a franchise that is more than a decade old, and isn’t “Star Wars” or “Indiana Jones.”

But what is lost in all the hype is that the cars and criminals series almost sputtered to a stop before it could kick off its latest victory lap, with some at Universal fretting the series had run out of gas after its first two installments: The studio even considered releasing sequels on DVD without a theatrical run.

The studio’s inclusive approach to casting has turned out to be smart business: Latinos make up 17 percent of the population in the United States and Canada, but comprise 26 percent of ticket buyers, according to a recent study by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Moreover, the movie business grows more globalized each year with foreign markets accounting for 70 percent of the overall box office, making the “Fast” franchise’s international approach the envy of other studios.

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