Universal reports an excellent $38.2 million Friday opening for Fast & Furious 6, topping the $34.4 million opening day of 2011's Fast Five for a new franchise high. BoxOffice is projecting a $119 million four-day opening for the sequel, with an outside shot at hitting $100 million in its first three days alone.
The Hangover Part III managed to increase slightly with a 23 percent increase from Thursday's disappointing debut up to $14.53 million yesterday (likely due to the late release date change). That said, the film is far under-performing against expectations as its two-day take is running 57.3 percent behind The Hangover Part II. With volatile word of mouth thus far, the outlook for the comedy three-quel isn't good. We're projecting a $52.5 million four-day weekend and $64.3 million five-day overall start.
Meanwhile, Paramount's Star Trek Into Darkness held up well in the face of new competition. The J.J. Abrams-helmed sequel is headed for a four-day weekend of $49 million.
Fox's Epic impressed with a strong $9.35 million take on Friday. Despite no built-in audience, the animated film took advantage of the lack of kiddie-centric movies in the market right now (March's The Croods was the most recent film to appeal to that crowd). We're projecting a $44 million four-day gross for the pic.
Meanwhile, The Great Gatsby declined 48 percent Friday-to-Friday with $3.96 million to begin its third weekend. The film is on pace for a $17.5 million four-day frame.
3-Day & 4-Day Memorial Weekend Projections
1. Fast & Furious 6 - $98.0 million (3-day) / $119.0 million (4-day)
2. The Hangover Part III - $43.5 million (3-day) / $52.5 million (4-day) / $64.3 million (5-day total)
3. Star Trek Into Darkness - $38.5 million million (3-day) / $49.0 million (4-day)
4. Epic - $34.0 million (3-day) / $44.0 million (4-day)
5. Iron Man 3 - $20.0 million (3-day) / $25.5 million (4-day)
6. The Great Gatsby - $14.0 million (3-day) / $17.5 million (4-day)
Additional reporting by Daniel Garris.