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Speeding ahead of the competition to become Universal Pictures’ best opening weekend ever, Fast and Furious 6 nabbed a towering $120 million, while animated flick Epic capitalized on a lack of family fare. The Hangover Part III wasn’t quite as fortunate winding up far below expectations but still helped contribute to a record-smashing long weekend.
Continuing to build on the momentum started with the surprise hit that was Fast and Furious which saw the return of all original cast members after an internationally-set hiatus with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the sixth instalment in the steadfast franchise blew away all previous records even when taking inflation into account.
Good will from Fast Five combined with slick trailers and strong reviews meant great things for Vin Diesel and co. and with a monstrous early global cume of $317 million, this entry is on track to easily best the already mighty worldwide tally of Fast Five’s $626.1 million.
Quite the opposite, The Hangover Part III did not at all benefit from the lukewarm reception of Part II and opened to only half that of its predecessor through the same period. Through five days the comedy has grabbed $63 million and is on track (thanks to even worse word of mouth) to end its run with less than what The Hangover Part II collected in its opening weekend. Overseas should be a different story but this can’t be called anything other than a whimper of a finale.
The Top 10 (Four Day)
1. Fast and Furious 6 – $120.0 (weekend)…$120.0M (cume)
2. The Hangover Part III – $51.2M…$63.0M
3. Star Trek Into Darkness – $47.0M…$155.8M
4. Epic – $42.6M…$42.6M
5. Iron Man 3 – $24.3M…$372.4M
6. The Great Gatsby – $17.0M…$117.7M
7. Mud – $2.4M…$15.0M
8. The Croods – $1.6M…$179.6M
9. 42 – $1.6M…$91.4M
10. Oblivion – $1.1M…$87.6M
After disappointing somewhat with a debut below the original, Star Trek Into Darkness held up very well in its sophomore frame despite immensely strong competition. Benefiting from great buzz, the sci-fi sequel dipped only 47 percent over the three-day weekend and 33 percent over the long weekend. That’s a great hold for any blockbuster and indicates a healthy final gross should result.
Also finding its audience amidst the clutter was Fox’s Epic, the first animated film to enter the market since The Croods 10 weeks ago. Soaring to a far better-than-expected $42.6 million over four days, this modestly budgeted tale will become yet another hit for Blue Sky Studios, especially considering the much-anticipated Monsters University is still a ways off.
In addition to slim drops for holdover titles like Iron Man 3 and The Great Gatsby indie threequel Before Midnight platformed in 5 locations and scored a sizzling $64,400 per-theater average. Goodwill built up from Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Before Sunset combined with equally loving reviews should send this dramedy on a strong sleeper run.
Next weekend Will and Jaden Smith-starrer After Earth will try and grab some dough through starpower and concept despite all the cash audiences splashed out this weekend, as will heist film Now You See Me which will try to cater those tired of big budget effects. Theater counts will be 3,000 and 2,800 respectively.