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'Hangover: Part II' on Track to Far Outpace Original's Opening Weekend Box Office

The comedy sequel, due in theaters May 26, is impressing distribution executives with interest level among young males on par with "Pirates 4."

The Hangover 2

Warner Bros.' The Hangover: Part II burst on to tracking with spectacular numbers Thursday, three weeks before its debut in theaters.

The numbers were good enough to impress distribution executives across Hollywood. The Hangover opened to $45 million in June 2009, with the sequel on track to far exceed that number.

As a way of comparing, box office observers said tracking shows interest among younger males (aged 17-30) as good as, or even better, than numbers for Disney's all-audience Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

A surprise hit in 2009, The Hangover went on to cume $277.3 million domestically and $190.2 million overseas for a worldwide total of $467.5 million--the best showing ever for an R-rated comedy.

Director Todd Phillips reunited with the original cast (including Bradley Cooper, Ed HelmsZach GalifianakisJustin Bartha and Ken Jeong) to make Hangover II, which is set in Thailand this time, instead of Las Vegas.

Thomas Tull's Legendary Pictures is a financing partner on the Hangover franchise.

Both Pirates and Hangover II are expected to do huge business.

Directed by Rob Marshall, On Stranger Tides opens May 20 and returns Johnny Depp in the title role of Captain Jack Sparrow. Penelope Cruz joins the franchise. Hangover II debuts May 26.