The first weekend take for Fast & Furious, a staggering $72 million, beats the entire domestic gross of its series predecessor, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift by $10 million dollars? It is also far and away the year's best opening, though that will likely change come May.

How did this happen? Bringing back Vin Diesel and Paul Walker as part of the "series reboot" helped. The hip new advertising campaign that focused heavily on the car chase action probably succeeded in making the franchise seem less "cheesy" this time around. (The Tokyo Drift subtitle, which turned out to have great traction (ZING!) as a running joke, didn't help the beleaguered third film.) Having seen the movie, that seems a little silly, since it's probably even more hilarious than its predecessors (and never has the description of Vin Diesel as an "angry potato" been more apt). But here we are, and a fifth entry in the series is all but assured.

A sad casualty of the weekend, apart from our collective intelligence, is the lovely Adventureland, which debuted to a disappointing $6 million. I think Miramax was jamming a square peg into a round hole by attempting to market Greg Mottola's film as another Superbad, which it decidedly is not, but I don't really know. It had a great concept but no stars among its lovely cast, so I guess it wasn't the easiest sell.

Monsters vs. Aliens is headed for a not-great $150-160 million finish. I Love You, Man, on the other hand, looks like it'll beat both Jason Segel's Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Paul Rudd's Role Models. Sunshine Cleaning expanded this weekend and snuck into the top 10, with Overture trying hard to platform its way to a sleeper hit. It may have a minor one.

The full top 10 after the jump.
1 - Fast & Furious (Universal) - $72.51 ($20,950) - $72.51
2 - Monsters vs. Aliens (Dreamworks Animation) - $33.51 ($8,155) - $105.70
3 - The Haunting in Connecticut (Lionsgate) - $9.55 ($3,496) - $37.24
4 - Knowing (Summit) - $8.13 ($2,447) - $58.20
5 - I Love You, Man (Dreamworks) - $7.85 ($2,775) - $49.29
6 - Adventureland (Miramax) - $6.01 ($3,228) - $6.01
7 - Duplicity (Universal) - $4.30 ($1,705) - $32.38
8 - Race to Witch Mountain (Disney) - $3.35 ($1,186) - $58.39
9 - 12 Rounds (Fox) - $2.30 ($987) - $9.02
10 - Sunshine Cleaning (Overture) - $1.88 ($3,923) - $4.78

Next week:

Ordinarily I'd bet on a big win for Hannah Montana, but with the enrmous flop of the Jonas Brothers concert flick a month back, I'm a bit hesitant. Its competition will be the kid-friendly Dragonball: Evolution, the not at all kid-friendly Observe & Report, the second weekend of Fast & Furious and the third of Monsters vs. Aliens.