'Fast & Furious 6' Easily Takes Memorial Day Weekend Checkered Flag

on May 28, 2013 by Daniel Garris

Universal's Fast & Furious 6 was easily victorious at the Memorial Day weekend box office with respective three-day and four-day grosses of $97.38 million and $117.04 million. In addition to outpacing the competition, the sixth installment of the popular action franchise also outpaced its lofty pre-release expectations as well as the $86.20 million three-day debut of 2011's Fast Five. Fast & Furious 6 delivered the fourth largest unadjusted four-day Memorial Day weekend gross of all-time, the second largest three-day opening weekend of 2013 to date (behind only Iron Man 3) and the largest ever unadjusted three-day opening weekend for Universal (with Fast Five being the previous record holder for the studio). That Fast & Furious 6 was able to perform as strong as it did in such a crowded marketplace, made its accomplishments even more impressive this weekend.

Thanks to help from the holiday frame and strong early word of mouth (the film received an A rating on CinemaScore), Fast & Furious 6 held up reasonably well for a film of its size throughout the weekend. After opening with $38.74 million on Friday (which included $6.5 million from late night Thursday showings), Fast & Furious 6 fell 18 percent on Saturday to gross $31.70 million. After grossing $26.94 million on Sunday, the three-day weekend to Friday ratio for Fast & Furious 6 stands at 2.51 to 1. Fast & Furious 6 had strong four-quadrant appeal this weekend, with the film's audience breakdown skewing slightly towards male moviegoers (51 percent) and towards moviegoers over 25 (57 percent).

Overseas, Fast & Furious 6 grossed $179.3 million from 59 foreign territories this weekend (with Monday included). That brings the film's overseas total to $197.3 million and early global haul to $314.3 million through Monday.

What once looked on paper like a potentially close holiday box office race months ago certainly didn't pan out that way, as Warner's The Hangover Part III finished in a distant second with a four-day take of $50.26 million. The third installment of the comedy series grossed $41.67 million over the three-day frame. In addition to opening below its already shrinking expectations, The Hangover Part III opened 51 percent softer than the $103.43 million four-day opening weekend take of 2011's The Hangover Part II. With a five-day start of $62.05 million, The Hangover Part III is currently running 54 percent behind the $135.04 million five-day start of The Hangover Part II. Instead, the film opened more in line with the $65.32 million five-day start of 2009's Terminator Salvation.

The decision to open The Hangover Part III against Fast & Furious 6 and the mixed reception to The Hangover Part II both ultimately took huge tolls on the potential demand for The Hangover Part III. With the early reception to The Hangover Part III also appearing to be very mixed (it received a B rating on CinemaScore), the film will be hard pressed to display significantly stronger holding power going forward than The Hangover Part II did. Daily grosses for the film included $14.50 million on Friday, $14.63 million on Saturday and $12.55 million on Sunday. The film generated a three-day weekend to Friday ratio of 2.87 to 1, with that figured being inflated a bit by the film's Thursday launch. The audience breakdown for The Hangover Part III skewed slightly towards male moviegoers (52 percent) and towards moviegoers over 25 (55 percent).

On the heels of last weekend's softer than expected start, Star Trek Into Darkness held up well this weekend, especially given the level of new competition in the marketplace. The second installment of the re-launched sci-fi series fell 33 percent from last weekend's three-day frame to place in third with a four-day take of $47.19 million. Star Trek Into Darkness grossed $37.29 million over the three-day frame. With a twelve-day domestic gross of $156.01 million through Monday, Star Trek Into Darkness is essentially running on par with the $155.54 million twelve-day start of 2009's Star Trek. However, it should be reminded that Star Trek Into Darkness has the added advantage of higher priced 3D admissions and noted that Star Trek had Memorial Day weekend fall during its third weekend of release as opposed to its second weekend.

In another sign of the overall strength of the marketplace this weekend, Fox's Epic opened on the high end of expectations with a healthy fourth place debut of $42.82 million. The 3D computer animated film from Blue Sky Studios grossed $33.53 million over the three-day frame.. The recent lack of family films in the marketplace since the debut of fellow Fox release The Croods back in March proved to be a big help for Epic. The four-day launch for Epic was 30 percent softer than the $60.87 million four-day opening weekend take of 2011's Kung Fu Panda 2. That early comparison suggests that Epic won't have a problem eventually surpassing the $100 million mark, especially with the launch of Disney's Monsters University being nearly a month away.

Epic opened with $9.35 million on Friday, increased 43 percent on Saturday to take in $13.38 million and fell 19 percent to gross $10.80 million on Sunday. The film's three-day weekend to Friday ratio was 3.59 to 1. Like Fast & Furious 6, Epic also received an encouraging A rating on CinemaScore.

Further down on this weekend's box office chart, both Disney's Iron Man 3 and Warner's The Great Gatsby held up reasonably well. Iron Man 3 fell 31 percent from last weekend's three-day frame to place in fifth with a four-day take of $24.69 million, while The Great Gatsby fell 29 percent to land in sixth with a four-day gross of $17.03 million. Through Monday, respective total grosses stand at $372.78 million in 25 days for Iron Man 3 and at $117.75 million in 18 days for The Great Gatsby.

Also of note this weekend was Roadside's Mud, which finished in seventh place with an estimated four-day take of $2.51 million. Despite the film playing in 248 fewer locations this weekend than last weekend, the four-day holiday performance of Mud represented an impressive 12 percent increase over last weekend's three-day take. Mud has remained a very consistent performer through 32 days of release and has now grossed $15.12 million to date.

Tags: Mud, The Great Gatsby, Iron Man 3, Epic, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hangover Part III, Fast & Furious 6

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