(CNN) — “Furious 7” is leaving early box office projections in the dust. Analysts expect the latest installment of “The Fast and Furious” series to earn up to $150 million in North America this weekend. And there’s no doubt fans are lining up to see actor Paul Walker’s final ride.
Walker died in late 2013, riding in a 600 horsepower Porsche that wrecked in Santa Clarita, California.
An impromptu memorial sprung up, as 5,000 fans paid their respects.
Walker connected with fans so much because he seemed so anti-Hollywood. He had no entourage and didn’t do shameless publicity stunts.
His generosity was well-known, founding a charity to help people affected by natural disasters.
He anonymously bought a $9,000 wedding ring for a newlywed solider who could not afford it. A decade and three children later, Kristen and Kyle Upham told CNN “it was a fairytale. He was our fairy godfather.”
But how in Hollywood do you take a fairy godfather figure like Walker and finish what would be “Furious 7?” Roughly 85 percent of Walker’s parts were finished when he died. Director James Wan says he used Walker’s brothers to help fill gaps.
There’s also an homage to Walker in the movie, but perhaps there can be no greater tribute to a friend than naming a child in their honor.
Paul Walker lives on in co-star Vin Diesel’s new baby. “Paul Walker was the one who told me to cut the umbilical cord. As I was cutting the umbilical cord two weeks ago, I could not stop but think about Paul and his advice, so when it came time to write down the name, Pauline just came out.”