'Fast & Furious 6' Easily Wins Memorial Day Weekend Box Office Race

on May 26, 2013 by Daniel Garris

4-Day Weekend Estimates

Fast & Furious 6 -- $122.2 million**
The Hangover Part III -- $51.3 million*
Star Trek Into Darkness -- $48.0 million**
Epic -- $44.0 million**
Iron Man 3 -- $24.619 million**
The Great Gatsby -- $17.0 million*

* = Non-Official Estimate from BoxOffice
** = Official Studio Estimate

Universal's Fast & Furious 6 was easily victorious at the Memorial Day weekend box office with respective estimated three-day and four-day grosses of $98.5 million and $122.2 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 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 better this weekend than Fast Five did during its opening weekend performance. After opening with $38.7 million on Friday (which included $6.5 million from late night Thursday showings), Fast & Furious 6 fell 19 percent on Saturday to gross $31.5 million. With an estimated $28.3 million on Sunday, the estimated three-day weekend to Friday ratio for Fast & Furious 6 stands at 2.55 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 $158.0 million from 59 foreign territories this weekend.  That brings the film's overseas total to $177 million and early global haul to $275.5 million through Sunday.

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 an estimated three-day take of $42.4 million. In addition to opening below its already shrinking expectations, the third installment of the comedy series opened 51 percent softer than the $85.95 million three-day opening weekend take of 2011's The Hangover Part II. With a four-day start of $54.20 million, The Hangover Part III is currently running 54 percent behind the $117.56 million four-day start of The Hangover Part II. Instead, the film opened more in line with the $55.93 million four-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 stronger holding power going forward than The Hangover Part II did. Daily grosses for the film were $14.55 million on Friday, $14.67 million on Saturday and an estimated $13.20 million on Sunday. The film generated an estimated three-day weekend to Friday ratio of 2.92 to 1, with that figured being inflated a bit by the film's Thursday launch.

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 46 percent to place in third with an estimated $38.0 million over the three-day frame. The early four-day weekend estimate for the film is $48.0 million. With an estimated twelve-day domestic gross of $156.83 million through Monday, Star Trek Into Darkness is running 1 percent ahead of 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 in the marketplace this weekend, Fox's Epic exceeded expectations with a healthy fourth place estimated three-day debut of $34.2 million. The early four-day estimate for the latest 3D computer animated film from Blue Sky Studios stands at $44.0 million. 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 28 percent softer than the $60.87 million four-day opening weekend take of 2011's Kung Fu Panda 2. That early comparison strongly 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 is estimated to gross $11.48 million on Sunday. The film's estimated three-day weekend to Friday ratio stands at 3.66 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 46 percent to place in fifth with an estimated three-day take of $19.4 million, while The Great Gatsby fell 43 percent to land in sixth with an estimated three-day gross of $13.7 million. Through Sunday, respective total grosses stand at $367.51 million through 24 days for Iron Man 3 and at $114.43 million through 17 days for The Great Gatsby.

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

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