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Warner Bros.’ The Hangover Part II continued to laugh it up at the domestic box office on Friday, grossing an estimated $30 million in a record showing for an R-rated comedy. The pic is now on track to gross $135 million in its first five days.
Hangover, grossing $31.7 million on Thursday, has earned a stellar $61.6 million in its first two days.
Paramount and DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2, the other new film to bow nationwide over Memorial Day weekend, earned an estimated $13.2 million on Friday in a good showing for the 3D toon. Opening on Thursday, the pic’s two-day cume is $19 million.
Kung Fu Panda should pick up steam on Saturday as families become fully available, and is on track to gross $65 million to $70 million over the course of its five-day debut.
Box office observers say the film business could enjoy one of the best Memorial Day weekends on record, if not the biggest. That’s welcome news, considering the long-running slump at the domestic box office.
Todd Phillips‘ Hangover sequel will easily be the best-performing film of the year so far, at least in terms of its opening, and is the first movie in months to be a big draw for younger moviegoers. Exit polls showed that 54% of those buying tickets on Thursday were under the age of 25.
Coming in third at the Friday box office after Hangover and Kung Fu Panda was Disney holdover Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which felt the heat from the new competitors, falling 68% to an estimated $10.9 million for a domestic cume of $124.4 million.
On Stranger Tides has been a much stronger performer overseas, and crossed the $500 million mark on Friday at the worldwide box office, matching the industry record for speed that was first set by Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End on 2007. On Stranger Tides’ international cume through Friday was $378.4 million.
Holding better domestically was Universal’s R-rated female-comedy Bridesmaids, which fell only 27% from the previous Friday to an estimated $4.6 million for a cume of $73.4 million.
Rounding out the top five was Paramount and Marvel Studios’ Thor, which grossed $2.4 million for a cume of $152.7 million.
On the specialty side, Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life opened to a solid $115,311 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles, posting a per screen average of $28,827. The film, starring Brad Pitt and distributed by Fox Searchlight in the U.S., won the coveted Palme d’Or last weekend at the Cannes Film Festival.
Woody Allen‘s Midnight in Paris did well enough to come in No. 10 on Friday as it expanded into a total of 58 theaters in top markets, grossing an estimated $475,000 for a cume of $1.4 million in its first eight days. Sony Classics Pictures is distributing the film in the U.S.
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