Fast & Furious 10’s Budget Shows The Saga

The Fast & Furious movies are set to conclude with a two-part finale, and the budget of the upcoming sequel Fast X shows it to be the right endpoint. Following the departure of director Justin Lin, Fast X is continuing with incoming filmmaker Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk). It won’t be a cheap endeavor by any stretch of the imagination, though, with the budget of Fast X reported to be $300 million. The high price tag partly accounts for the large ensemble cast of Fast X, but looking back over the series from Fast Five onward, the budgets have been on a steep upward incline. Fast Five cost $125 million, an expensive movie to be sure, but the budgets have only increased. From The Fate of the Furious on, no Fast Saga movie has cost less than $200 million. Paired with the franchise’s gimmick leaving it with nowhere to go but up, this illuminates how much of a perpetual motion machine the Fast & Furious movies have morphed into.

Beginning with The Fast and the Furious, which cost only $38 million, the path of the franchise since its most important installment, Fast Five, has constantly been pushing the Fast Saga to greater extremes. The last installment, 2021’s F9, displayed this better than ever with the stunts and action sequences being comically disconnected from reality. With its upward trend being a staple of its brand, this opens up the question of how much more insane the Fast Saga can get, and how much more expensive such insanity is going to become. Of course, the Fast Saga has risen to heights of financial success that make it the biggest tentpole action movie franchise around. Furious 7 and The Fate of the Furious both surpassed $1 billion at the worldwide box office, while F9, opening right as theaters were just starting to re-stabilize from the COVID-19 pandemic, amassed $726 million — about as well as it could realistically perform under the circumstances. Still, with the Fast Saga becoming a superhero franchise in both storytelling and expense, it might not similarly have the longevity that can justify such extravagant costs indefinitely.

The problem of the budget enters the equation with Fast X’s $300 million price tag and the possibility that the Fast Saga might have hit its peak in terms of financial success. Especially after the absurdity of F9, which dominated discussions of the film even in its most positive reactions, there is the question of just how much NOS remains in the tank for the Fast & Furious franchise. If the series has finally plateaued or is on the verge of doing so, ending it with the Fast X and Fast 11 two-parter is the right call. That doesn’t necessarily mean the total end of the Fast Saga. Netflix’s animated series Fast & Furious Spy Racers can tell new Fast Saga stories in a different setting, while the franchise’s spinoff corner, with Hobbs & Shaw maybe having a brighter future, can take its buddy duo on at least one more adventure outside of the proper series. When it comes to the principal Fast Saga itself, Universal Pictures will need to find a way to replace the revenue the Fast & Furious movies generate for them. Still, the budget of Fast X coupled with the ever-increasing scale of the franchise suggests that the upcoming finale is the right place for Dom and his family to finally retire.

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