PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Well, the summer movie season began a week earlier than expected.

That is because the action-thriller sequel Fast Five, the fifth installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise, did its best impression of a summer blockbuster by driving away to a first-place finish and earning an estimated $84 million in its theatrical debut.

Last weekend’s leader Rio, the animated attraction, dropped to a distant second, taking in $14 million.

The weekend’s other two new mainstream releases also placed in the middle of the top ten.

Prom, the high school dramedy, finished fifth with a total of $5 million. Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil took in $4 million, good for sixth place.

The long summer movie season gets off to a lively, premature start, in April, with industry-wide totals a whopping 50 percent higher than those on the counterpart weekend last year.

Reported by Bill Wine, KYW Newsradio

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