Box Office Report: 'Fast 6' Passes 'Hangover III,' Eyeing $100 Million-Plus Memorial Day Debut
Universal's Fast & Furious 6 has sped past The Hangover Part III at the Friday box office, where it's expected to take in $35 million for the day on its way to a stellar four-day Memorial Day debut north of $100 million.
Hangover III, from Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, is aiming for a $14.5 million Friday and a softer-than-expected Memorial Day opening in the $52 million range. Opening Thursday, the final installment in Todd Phillips' comedy franchise is pacing to post a disappointing five-day debut hovering around $65 million.
The holiday's third new nationwide entry, 20th Century Fox's 3D family toon Epic, could open to $45 million or better for the four-day weekend.
Until now, The Hangover franchise has been a sure thing, but many have questioned the decision to open Fast 6 and Hangover III on the same weekend, since both films go after males. Boosting Fast 6's chances are a strong turnout among minorities, while Hangover III could be hurt by a B CinemaScore (the last film received an A- CinemaScore) and poor reviews.
The threequel returns Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis in the title roles as the gang returns to Las Vegas to rescue Galifianakis' character.
Hangover III's $11.6 million Thursday included $3.1 million in Wednesday night runs, compared to a record-breaking $10 million for Hangover II, the top midnight showing for an R-rated comedy. For the full Thursday, Hangover II took in just north of $31 million on its way to a five-day debut of $35 million.
Conversely, Fast 6 grossed $6.5 million in Thursday late night runs, easily outpacing the $3.8 million midnight gross of Fast Five in late April 2011 on its way to posting a three-day domestic debut of roughly $86 million. The action series is one of the few Hollywood franchises to gain such momentum with time.
Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez return for the sixth installment.
Fast 6 is also off to a stellar start overseas, where it has already earned $53.4 million as it opens day and date in 59 markets. Last weekend, the movie grossed north of $13 million in the U.K. It opened in another 34 markets on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the early total to the $53.4 million and, like in the U.K., marking Universal's biggest opening day in 22 markets.
Hangover III is only opening in three international markets this weekend: the U.K., Australia and New Zealand. The comedy took in a strong $1.8 million as it opened in Australia, dominating the market.