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'Fast & Furious 6' zooms to top of box office

By Todd Cunningham
The Wrap

"Fast & Furious 6" turned its showdown with "The Hangover Part III" into a blowout, and drove the Memorial Day weekend box office into the record books.

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The latest entry in Universal's cars and criminals franchise is roaring to a $122 million four-day haul in its debut, and setting the pace for an overall box office that will top $300 million for the extended weekend. That easily beats the previous best Memorial Day holiday haul, which was the $276 million rung up in 2011, when "Hangover II" led the pack with $85 million.

"Fast & Furious 6" is proving a global hit, too. It opened No. 1 in 59 foreign markets and took in $158 million abroad this weekend, giving it a three-day global total of $275 million, the studio's best-ever worldwide opening.

Also on TheWrap: How an Extreme Movie Makeover Saved 'Fast & Furious' From Going Direct to DVD

"Fast & Furious 6" took in roughly $31 million in North America on Saturday, on the heels of its $38.1 million Friday, to leave its rivals in the dust. The muscle-car sequel dominated, averaging $8,605 on its 3,658 screens. Runner-up "The Hangover Part III" averaged $4,120 per screen in 3,555 theaters.

The finale in Warner Bros. raunchy R-rated comedy franchise laughed its way to $14.6 million Saturday, which left it on pace for a $51 million four-day haul and an overall total of $63 million since it opened Thursday. That's way off the the $135 million earned by "The Hangover Part II" during the same stretch in 2011.

More: What did the critics think?

Going in, the battle between "Fast & Furious 6" and "Hangover Part III" was seen as a competition for young males. The hot car saga with the ethnically diverse cast took that, but also attracted plenty of women -- 49 percent of its audience -- and got a huge boost from Hispanic moviegoers, who made up 32 percent of the crowd.

"After  Fast Five' performed so strongly, we knew we had something special going," said Universal's head of distribution Nikki Rocco, "but we didn't take anything for granted. To have a movie open like this takes the studio, the filmmakers and everyone to come through, and we did."

The huge debut means "Fast & Furious 6" should outstrip the previous highest-grossing entry in the franchise, "Fast Five," which took in $209 million domestically and a whopping $416 million overseas for a $626 million worldwide haul in 2011.  Overall, the "Fast and Furious" franchise has brought in $1.6 billion globally.

"Fast and Furious 6" brings back Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson along with director Justin Lin, who has overseen four of the franchise's films. It also revives fan-favorite Michelle Rodriguez, who was killed off in an earlier segment.

The movie is set in London, and premiered there, an indicator of how the franchise has evolved from its 2001 origins as a street-racing potboiler set in the subculture of East L.A. into an action spectacle on a global scale.

Paramount's "Star Trek Into Darkness," last week's No. 1 movie, was third after taking in $14.6 million Saturday. That translates to a $49 million four-day haul, and puts its overall total at $158 million after two weeks.

The week's other wide opener, Fox's animated family tale "Epic," surged to $13.3 million Saturday and should finish in fourth at around $44 million for the long weekend.

Disney's blockbuster "Iron Man 3" was next, after a $7.6 million Saturday that projects to a $25 million four-day total. That lifts the domestic total for the Marvel superhero sequel past $367 million, and its worldwide haul to more than $1.14 billion. With that, it moves into No. 5 on the list of all-time highest-grossing movies worldwide, ahead of "Transformers: Dark of the Moon."

"The Great Gatsby" was in sixth, after a $5.1 million Saturday that put the glitzy adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel on track for a $17.2 million four-day take. Last week it became the first of director Baz Luhrmann's movies to hit the $100 million mark at the box office, and its total now stands at $118 million for Warner Bros.

The top ten (Friday-Sunday totals):
"Fast & Furious 6," $98.5 million
"The Hangover Part III," $42.4;
"Star Trek Into Darkness," $38 million
"Epic," $34.2 million
"Iron Man 3," $19.4 million
"The Great Gatsby," $13.7 million
"42," $1.2 million
"The Croods," $1.2 million
"Oblivion," $815K;
"Oz the Great and Powerful," $629,000

Also on TheWrap:
5 of Summer's Biggest Box-Office Smackdowns
6 Lessons Hollywood Needs to Learn From 'Fast & Furious'


May 26, 2013 4:50PM
husband and I saw this movie this weekend, and when I commented on how much I really enjoyed it, especially the plot line, he added "yep, didnt nod off once!" so there you go, if he stayed up thru it, and it was definitely good, then it hadnt to have been too bad! overall - great in the franchise, favorite part of the whole movie, the very last 60 seconds!! blew my mind....cant wait for number 7!!
Fast and Furious 6 and Hangover 3? Well, it's cinema for the heart of thinking this week, apparently.
May 27, 2013 8:52AM
If the total numbers after Monday show that Hangover 3 finished ahead of the New Star Trek, that will be bad news for the Star Trek Series. A friend of mine said Star Trek would beat out Fast n Furious 6(I TOLD HIM HE WOULD BE MISTAKEN)  but for Star Trek not to be 2nd in its 2nd week of release? Wow!
May 27, 2013 8:04AM

I saw fast and furious 6 and it was freaking awesome. I cant wait for #7 next year.

I want to see Hangover 3, but not something I'm willing to pay theater prices for. I'll wait until it comes out on DVD.

May 26, 2013 2:18PM
Hangover 3 is going to beat out Star Trek for the week? Really? I guess because I haven't been able to drink alcohol for the last 27 years, I missed out on a really fun part of life.
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