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Weekend Wrap-Up: Furious Start Helps Set Records

May 29th, 2013

Memorial Day long weekend has come and gone and it was a boon to the box office numbers. Not only did Fast and Furious 6 reach the high end of predictions, as did Epic. On the other hand, The Hangover III struggled. The positives overrode the negatives by a large margin and the overall box office rose to $254.37 million, which is a new record for a three-day Memorial Day weekend. Adding in Monday, and the box office made $313.18 million. The three-day portion of the weekend rose 65% compared to last weekend and 67% compared to last year. This weekend earned more than $100 million more than the same weekend in 2012. That is something that usually only happens when there's a misalignment in holiday weekends. If you add in Monday, 2013's Memorial Day long weekend earned 63% more than the Memorial Day long weekend from 2012. Granted, 2013 is still far behind 2012, but this is great news. Hopefully it will keep up for a while.

Fast and Furious 6 is the kind of film that is perfect for the summer blockbuster season. It is a quintessential popcorn flick, but one that is well made and has won over a lot of critics. It won over even more moviegoers, which allowed it to earn $97.38 million over the three-day portion of the weekend, while over four days it earned $117.04 million. This is on the high end of the predictions and the biggest three-day opening in the Fast and the Furious franchise thus far. The studio must be positively giddy about Fast and Furious 7.

The Hangover III opened in second, but with a lot less than expected. Thursday it made $11.79 million, which is much lower than expected. Over the three-day weekend, it pulled in $41.67 million, which is less than the first film opened with, and that film didn't have nearly the same level of advanced buzz going into its debut. It was certainly a sleeper hit. During its first five days of release, the film has earned $62.05 million, which is lower than some were expecting over three days. Additionally, its reviews were terrible at just 21% positive, which is going to kill its legs. Worse still for the studio, it reportedly cost more than $100 million to make, nearly half of which went to the three lead stars. The studio might break even, if it does better internationally and / or on the home market, but under no circumstances should they try and make a fourth film in the franchise.

Star Trek into Darkness landed in third place with $37.29 million over the three-day portion of the weekend and $47.19 million over four. So far, the film has pulled in $156.01 million and is well on its way to $200 million, which is enough to ensure a profit early in its home market push, but it is lower than expected.

I was a little more bullish that most with regards to Epic's chances, but it turned out that optimism was justified, as it earned $33.53 from Friday through Sunday and $42.82 million including Monday. The family friendly nature of the film and the good reviews should help its legs. On the other hand, Monsters University opens in a few weeks, so the publicity for that film might draw away potential ticket sales from this film. Even so, I think it will get to $100 million domestically, which is a good milestone to reach. That's enough to make reaching a profit on the home market a relatively easy goal, but it won't be a monster hit.

Iron Man 3 earned $19.32 million over the three date weekend and $24.69 million over four. After 25 days of release, the film has pulled in $372.78 million and is on pace to crack $400 million.

As expected, The Great Gatsby became Baz Luhrmann's first $100 million hit of his career, doing so during the 14th day of its release. It is currently sitting at $117.75 million and while it has fallen out of the top five, it should continue to pull in millions over the next few weeks.


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Filed under: Weekend Box Office, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3, Fast and Furious 6, Epic, The Hangover 3, Fast and the Furious, Hangover, Baz Luhrmann