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Fast & Furious 6 opens on top in US with $122 million

Fast & Furious 6

Story by Jack Foley

FAST & Furious 6 has raced to the top of the US box office and is on course to make $122 million over the Memorial Day weekend.

In doing so, it left The Hangover Part III in the dust.

Todd Phillips’ final film in The Hangover series is expected to take in $53 million-plus for the four-day weekend and somewhere close to $64 million for the five-day stretch, a figure that pales by comparison to the $135 million earned by The Hangover Part II in 2011.

Hangover III still enjoyed the second-best best Memorial Day showing for an R-rated film after Hangover II and together with Fast 6 helped drive ticket sales to $322 million, the best showing ever for the holiday.

Commenting on the success of Fast 6, Universal president of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco said: “This isn’t just a car racing movie anymore. It’s an action pic with broad appeal. It played to a tremendously diverse audience.”

While speaking of The Hangover‘s US performance, Dan Fellman, Warners president of domestic distribution, admitred to disappointment that the Wolfpack didn’t get closer to Fast 6.

“Tracking had us a lot closer,” he admitted. “It was a little surprising that we didn’t reach the $80 million mark, but I can’t look at a $63 million or $64 million opening and say it wasn’t solid.

“Obviously, the first choice was Fast 6, but hopefully people will get a dose of that film and then come back to us.”

Internationally, however, The Hangover did perform well, taking $19.2 million from the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It also beat Fast 6 in the UK with $9.2 million, although Fast 6 opened a week earlier.

Elsewhere, and contributing to the strong weekend performance, Star Trek Into Darkness has projected four-day gross of $48 million and tied with The Hangover on Saturday.

While animated 3D adventure Epic , from Fox Animation Studios and Blue Sky Studios, held solidly at No.4 and Iron Man 3 rounded out the top five, with an estimated four-day total of $24.6 million.

The Marvel movie has now taken $1.14 billion worldwide to become the fifth highest grossing film of all time.

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