Kiwi Fast & Furious 9 star Vinnie Bennett responds to film's huge opening weekend in NZ

Kiwi actor Vinnie Bennett is celebrating a huge opening weekend at the box office after Fast & Furious 9 drew massive crowds with it's big screen debut in New Zealand. 

The ninth installment of the franchise pulled in $1.96 million after it was released on June 17, making it the highest grossing opening weekend of any film in New Zealand in the past 18 months. 

"I feel so proud to be a part of such a well-loved franchise," Bennett, who stars as a young Dominc Toretto, played by Vin Diesel, said in a statement.  

"To know that the NZ audience have embraced Fast & Furious 9 in a big way really means a lot to me." 

Alongside Bennett, the flick stars John Cena, and returning cast members Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges as well as Oscar winners Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren. 

Twenty-eight-year-old Bennett, who has previously appeared in Ghost in the Shell, Filthy Rich and Human Traces, attended the New Zealand premiere of the film last Wednesday, before flying to Los Angeles for the world premiere, walking the red carpet alongside his co-stars. 

Bennett shared a video from the NZ premiere on Instagram, showing him being honoured with a haka before the film. 

"Whānau," he captioned the clip. "The struggle to hold myself together was too real. Mauri Ora."