In the end, it wasn't even a contest. Fast and Furious 7 dominated the box office for the second weekend in a row, picking up a cool $60.6 million and driving its U.S total to $252.5 million. 

Fast and Furious 7Paul Walker [center] and the rest of the Fast & Furious 7 team

"People feel like they're living through the summer movie season right now even though it's not summer," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Rentrak. "It's the essence of a popcorn movie."

Universal appear to have gotten in and gotten out with Furious 7, taking the big bucks and avoiding having to go up against the major summer tent-pole movies like Avengers: Age of Ultron. 

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"Studios are not afraid to place a strong movie in unconventional times, and it's paying off quite well," said Phil Contrino, vice president and chief analyst at "There's no need to open everything in June, July or May when you'll get creamed by whatever opens the next week."

Furious 7 - starring Dwayne Johnson and the late Paul Walker - is now the fastest Universal release to pass $200 million, taking just eight days. It bests the studio's previous record holder, Despicable Me 2, which took 11 days to reach that milestone. 

"It's getting the best reviews of the franchise, and people are talking about the poignancy of the footage of Paul Walker," said Dergarabedian. "The fans are basically in charge of marketing it right now, and they're creating great word of mouth."

Elsewhere at the box-office, DreamWorks animation Home pulled in $19 million for $129.6 million overall, while newcomer The Longest Ride took $13.5million. 

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