The Hangover Part II Awakes to New Records

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The ComingSoon.net Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Tuesday for the final figures based on actual box office.

The summer movie season has been making up for a weaker spring with consistently stronger weekends and with the release of two anticipated sequels, this Memorial Day weekend set a new record for the holiday with the Top 10 grossing an estimated $269 million over the four-day weekend. 39% of that amount went to Todd Phillips’ The Hangover Part II, reuniting Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms from the hit R-rated comedy that scored $277 million two summers back. After opening with $31.6 million on Thursday, it set a new opening record for an R-rated comedy with $86.5 million over the three-day weekend and an estimated $105.8 million over the four days, utterly destroying the previous R-rated comedy opening held by American Pie 2 with $45.2 million. Grossing $137.4 million in just five days, the sequel has already entered the Top 10 for highest grossing R-rated comedies ever, as well as becoming the second-biggest opening for any R-rated movie ever, following just behind The Matrix Reloaded in 2003 and just ahead of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ the following year. On top of that, Phillips’ comedy became the fourth-biggest Memorial Day weekend opening ever, surpassing Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park: The Lost World, which held the record for biggest weekend gross for many years.

Internationally, The Hangover Part II opened in 40 foreign markets, earning $60.3 million.

Entirely overshadowed by the R-rated comedy, DreamWorks Animations’ Kung Fu Panda 2, featuring the voices of Jack Black, Angelina Jolie and Dustin Hoffman, brought in a relatively disappointing $62.2 million (estimated) over the four-day holiday weekend following an opening day of $5.8 million. The original movie opened with $60.2 million over a non-holiday weekend in June 2008, and most analysts estimated that the holiday weekend and the addition of 3D ticket prices would help the sequel do substantially more business its opening weekend. It’s still the 11th greatest Memorial Day opening, slightly surpassing the holiday opening for DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar in 2005. Considering the amount of PG family competition being released in June, its hope of legs may be tough, even if word-of-mouth should help sustain business as schools let out. The animated sequel fared substantially better overseas where it opened at #1 in China with $18.5 million, a new record for a foreign film, surpassing the previous weekend’s record set by the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean.” It grossed $57 million in the 11 foreign territories in which it opened this weekend.

Dropping to third place, Jerry Bruckheimer and Rob Marshall’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Walt Disney Pictures) scored $50.3 million over the four-day holiday weekend bringing its domestic total gross to $164 million in ten days. It’s fared even better internationally where it’s total is up to $485.1 million, for a worldwide total of $649 million.

Kristen Wiig’s R-rated comedy Bridesmaids (Universal) continues to be a huge hit, pulling in nearly $21 million over the four-day weekend, equaling its three-day take last weekend. In just three weekends, the comedy budgeted at $32.5 million has grossed $89.5 million and it should cross the $100 million mark sometime over the next week.

Marvel Studios’ latest superhero movie Thor (Paramount) dropped to fifth place with $12 million in its fourth weekend, bringing its total to $162.4 million.

Sixth place went to Universal’s other summer hit Fast Five with $8.2 million over the holiday weekend. Its $197.6 million grossed domestically puts it on pace to become the first movie to cross the $200 million mark domestically this year, which has contributed to the nearly $550 million its amassed worldwide since opening in mid-April.

After opening in New York and L.A. last week, Woody Allen’s acclaimed Midnight in Paris (Sony Pictures Classics), starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, expanded into 58 theaters and made an astounding leap into the Top 7 with $3.5 million over the four-day weekend, an average of over $60,000 per site. It’s already looking to be one of Allen’s biggest hits in quite some time as well as his first movie since 2000’s Small Time Crooks to breach the Top 7. Expect Sony Pictures Classics to continue to take advantage of the interest with regular expansions over the coming weeks.

Dropping to 8th place was Fox’s animated family film Rio with $2.4 million, taking its first real hit with the competition from DreamWorks Animation’s sequel, having grossed $135.4 million total.

Opening in four theaters in New York and L.A., Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (Fox Searchlight) brought in $489 thousand, an estimate of roughly $122 thousand per site–a new per-theater average record for the Fox subsidiary–to take 15th place. With the right expansion plan, we could see Malick’s latest in the Top 10 soon enough.

Click here for the full box office results of the top 12 films.