F. Gary Gray Becomes Highest-Grossing Black Director In History with Success of ‘Furious 8’

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F. Gary Gray earned kudos from Ava DuVernay for his accomplishment. (Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

“The Fate of the Furious” pulled in $100 million over the weekend, making F. Gary Gray the highest-earning Black director.

The eighth installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise was No. 1 at the box office during Easter weekend and broke several records, leading Gray to have the highest worldwide box office gross, overtaking Tim Story’s record, according to Shadow and Act.

Story’s films have earned $1.21 billion worldwide since 2005’s “Fantastic Four,” a total that was later aided by the success of 2014’s “Ride Along” and its sequel. Gray’s movies have amassed $1.24 billion since the release of “Friday” in 1995 and 2015’s “Straight Outta Compton” pushed Gray to have the highest grossing film from a Black director.

“The Fate of the Furious” also has become the highest opening film worldwide with $532 million, breaking the $529-million opening by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and it had the highest Chinese advance ticket pre-sales in history, resulting in $190 million gross, according to China Film Insider.

Other formerly highest-earning films sat behind “Furious 8” this weekend: “The Boss Baby with $15.5 million and “Beauty and the Beast” with $14 million.

Gray’s accomplishment is the newest major-income news to come out of Hollywood for a Black filmmaker. Last month, Jordan Peele made history as the first Black director whose debut movie grossed $100 million.

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