According to CNN, preliminary estimates indicate that the film, which opened to mostly negative reviews, broke box office records for the biggest April opening in history and the best ever result for a car-related feature.
The original film inspired a new generation of tuners, sparking an almost instant spike in the popularity of Japanese performance vehicles among the mainstream.
Unfortunately, it also spawned a number of films that were best kept unseen, including the awful Redline and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
Unlike Redline, Tokyo Drift did have some redeeming features: namely the numerous drift scenes which formed the only respite from the stilted and clich??d dialogue which marred the film.
While Part Three of the Fast and the Furious franchise contained none of the original cast, with the exception of a cameo appearance by Diesel, 'Fast and Furious' sees the return of many of the stars behind the unexpected success of the first film in the series.
Diesel told the Los Angeles Times it wasn't his ego which prompted his absence from the series, but the absence of a decent script, until now.
"I always get afraid of being pigeonholed," he said. "Which is why it takes me so long to return to characters. Probably longer than most people would like.
"But the real reason why I didn't return to the characters is the scripts hadn't been right. The characters haven't been right. It's not like I ever said I wouldn't be there."