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Memorial Day Weekend Contributes to Biggest May Ever on May 28, 2013

Last weekend's record Memorial Day business helped send May 2013 past the finish line for the box office's best month of May ever. Through Monday, May 27, North American grosses for the month have tallied an estimated $1.045 billion. That's enough to top May 2011's previous record of $1.037 billion.

Blockbuster hits like Iron Man 3 and Fast & Furious 6 have driven the market in summer's first month, along with Star Trek Into Darkness benefiting from strong word of mouth after its underwhelming opening. The Great Gatsby and Epic also broke out past industry expectations.

The final day of the month lands on Friday this week, through which point BoxOffice projects a final monthly tally of more than $1.1 billion. Check back later this week for our detailed analysis on this record-breaking month.

NORTH AMERICA: 'Fast & Furious 6' Snags Best Universal Opening Of All Time, Leads Record-Breaking Holiday Weekend With Massive $117M Debut; 'Hangover 3' Disappoints With $50.3M, 'Epic' Posts Healthy $42.8M Opening on May 27, 2013

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Tuesday Update #2: Universal reports that Fast & Furious 6's final four-day haul is $117.1 million, the best opening of any Universal release ever. 

Fox reports that Epic's final four-day haul is a solid $42.8 million.

Tuesday Update: WB reports that The Hangover Part III's 4-day gross came in lower than expected at $50.3 million. The final number is due later today. 

Monday Update: Universal is currently estimating a four-day holiday weekend take of $120.0 million for Fast & Furious 6.  The revised three-day gross for Fast & Furious 6 is $96.8 million.

Warner Bros. is estimating The Hangover Part III to gross $51.2 million over the four-day frame, while Fox is estimating a four-day start of $42.6 million for Epic.

Sunday Update: The top six films alone will tally around $307 million over what's turned out to be a massive Memorial Day weekend at the box office. BoxOffice estimates that the overall box office total for the four-day weekend will come in at close to $325 million. That's more than enough to break the previous Memorial Day weekend record of $276.9 million set in 2011. It falls just shy of the all-time 4-day record of $331.1 million set during December 25-28, 2009. 

Universal reports that Fast & Furious 6 is on pace for a staggering $122 million from Friday-Monday. That shatters the $92.4 million gross that Fast Five managed during its first four days of release in 2011. 

Warner Bros. projects $42.4 million for The Hangover Part III from Friday-Sunday. Based on that, BoxOffice is forecasting a $51.3 million four-day haul. 

Fox estimates that Epic will take in $44 million over the four-day frame. That's a healthy start for a film that many feared would be overshadowed by the combined power of Fast & Furious 6 and The Hangover Part 3

See the rest of the top 10 here

Saturday Update: The official Friday estimate for Fast & Furious 6 is $38.2 million. The BoxOffice team projects a $119 million 4-day haul based on that.

Warner Bros. reports a $14.5 million Friday take for The Hangover Part III, bringing its two-day total to $26.3 million. BoxOffice projects a $43.5 million three-day weekend and $52.5 million four-day holiday take, bringing the projected five-day tally up to $64.3 million.

Meanwhile, Fox's Epic kicked off to $9.35 million yesterday. BoxOffice projects a healthy $44 million four-day extended weekend for the animated flick.

Friday Update #3: Sources tell BoxOffice that Fast & Furious 6 is on track for $37 million on Friday, which means it should easily pass $100 million over 4 days. The Universal will lead the box office during a four-day frame that is definitely going to break the previous Memorial Day-weekend record of $276.9 million set in 2011.

Epic is off to a healthy start. The animated flick should do $12 million on Friday, which could put it north of $50 million from Friday-Monday. That comes as something of a surprise since industry analysts feared the film would be overshadowed by live-action tentpoles.

The Hangover Part 3 continues to disappoint. WB's comedy is on pace for $12 million on Friday. The critically-panned flick should hit around $40 million from Friday-Monday. Negative word of mouth is clearly spreading at a rapid pace. 

Check back later for more updates. Official studio estimates will be released tomorrow morning. 

Friday Update #2: Fast & Furious 6 reportedly made $6.5 million from Thursday evening and Friday midnight shows. That's a nice jump from the $3.8 million that 2011's Fast Five made from midnight shows. 

Friday Update: Warner Bros. reports that The Hangover Part III took in $11.8 million on Thursday. That's down quite a bit--nearly 63%--from the $31.6 million that Hangover Part II managed on Thursday, May 26--its first full day of release.   

Thursday Update: Warner Bros. reports that The Hangover Part III took in $3.1 million from Wednesday evening/Thursday midnight shows. That's a far cry from the $10.4 million that The Hangover Part II managed in 2011. 

It seems that poor word of mouth is hurting the film already. Part III currently has an anemic 27% approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com. That rating could keep many potential customers away. 

It's not time to give up hope just yet. Part II was also plagued by bad reviews and it still managed a $581.5 million global haul.

UPDATED GLOBAL: 'Fast & Furious 6' Scores $317M in 4-Day Weekend on May 26, 2013

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MONDAY UPDATE: Fast & Furious 6 broke through the $300 million mark on Monday after netting a $317 million global total. The overseas markets accounted for an impressive $197 million of that figure, promising a big summer for the sixth entry in the franchise. The film will hope to get a major push down the stretch in July with its release in its two pending major markets: Japan and China. 

SUNDAY:

Fast & Furious 6 sped through first place at the global box office, reaching a $275.5 million global total. The impressive debut marks Universal's highest domestic and overseas opening weekend of all time. The number represents a three-day estimate and should be higher when including the Monday grosses from the holiday weekend in the United States. Fast & Furious 6 is only behind Iron Man 3 for the biggest domestic and overseas opening weekend of 2013. An "A" CinemaScore from U.S. audiences, and "A+" from U.S. audiences under 25, should help the film maintain a strong pace in the coming weeks. 

Fast & Furious 6 grossed $158 million over the weekend in 59 territories, taking its overseas cume to $177 million. It is the highest opening weekend of all time in the United Arab Emirates and Argentina. The film has a bigger opening than Iron Man 3 in 21 markets. Fast & Furious 6 has six more territories to open, including Trinidad on May 29, Australia and New Zealand on June 6, Venezuela on June 21, Japan on July 6, and China on July 20.  

The Hangover Part III disappointed in the North American box office but posted strong numbers in the 3 overseas markets it opened, winning the top spot in each of the respective markets. It is important to note, however, that The Hangover Part III did not directly compete with the opening weekend of Fast & Furious 6 in any of those markets. The comedy threequel grossed $9.2 million in the U.K., $9 million in Australia, and $1 million in New Zealand. The film opens in more than fifty overseas markets next weekend.

Iron Man 3 became the #5 highest grossing film of all time globally and the #7 highest grossing film overseas thanks to a strong push over Memorial Day weekend. The film benefited from a $24.6 million four-day North America gross (estimated) and a $17.4 million overseas weekend to reach a whopping $1.142 billion global cume. The film's top overseas markets are China ($117.4M), South Korea ($63.1M), the U.K. ($53.8M), Mexico ($47.4M), Brazil ($45.2M), Russia ($43.6M), and France ($40.1M).

The Great Gatsby reached a $200 million global cume after adding another $24.4 million over the weekend to take its overseas total to $85.6million. The top markets for the film are the United Kingdom ($12.9M), Russia ($11.9M), and France ($10M). The film opens in Australia and Mexico next week.

Epic added another 20 territories this weekend, bringing in $23.1 million to see its overseas cume raise to $44 million. The animated film has now grossed $78.4 million globally. The U.K. brought in the best performance, opening in #3 with $5.1 million. The film grossed $3 million in France, opening in #2 behind Fast & Furious 6. Epic will open in 26 new markets next weekend. 

Star Trek Into Darkness added another $13.1 million over the weekend from 40 territories, taking its overseas cume to $102.1 million despite not opening in any new markets. The sci-fi sequel grossed $2.7 million in the U.K. to take its total in the market to $29.2 million. Germany contributed another $1.9 million despite competition from an all-German Champions League final to reach a $16.2 million total. Russia and Australia each contributed $1.8 million, to take their totals to $9.4 million (Russia) and $12.8 million (Australia). All eyes will be on Star Trek Into Darkness next weekend as it opens in China and South Korea.

Follow Daniel Loria and BoxOffice on Twitter for more news on the global box office.

UPDATED OVERSEAS: 'Fast & Furious 6' Takes Off with $53.4M on May 24, 2013

fast-furious-6_05.jpgFRIDAY UPDATE: Fast & Furious 6 scored the highest ever opening day for Universal in the global box office after taking in $53.4 million from 34 markets. It is the highest opening day for any film in the Fast & Furious franchise. The film will be released in 24 additional territories today. 

SUNDAY UPDATE: Fast & Furious 6 is the #1 film in the U.K. after grossing $13.8 million over the weekend. It is the best opening weekend performance for the Fast & Furious franchise in that territory and represents the biggest weekend in the U.K. for stars Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The latest entry in the franchise trounced competition from the second weekend of Star Trek Into Darkness ($5.8M) and the debut of The Great Gatsby ($6.4M). The U.K. is the only market where Fast & Furious 6 is currently playing. The film will open in North America and various other overseas markets next weekend.

SATURDAY UPDATE: 

From Universal: 

FAST & FURIOUS 6 opened Friday, May 17 in the U.K. and Ireland and set a new record for Universal's highest opening day of all time in that market. The film grossed $4.6M (£2.99M) at 462 dates shattering the record held by the fourth film in the franchise, FAST & FURIOUS which grossed $3.6M (£2.5M) on its opening day in 2009 (Good Friday). Today's result makes FAST & FURIOUS 6 the biggest opening day for the FAST & FURIOUS franchise in the U.K. and the second biggest opening of 2013, just $90K behind IRON MAN 3 (in 3D) $4.7M (£3.081M). It is also the highest opening day in this territory for Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson.

FAST 6 is No. 1 in the market with 56% market share. THE GREAT GATSBY opened Thursday and grossed an estimated $2.6M (£1.7M) in 2 days.

For comparison, FAST & FURIOUS 6 is bigger than:
INCEPTION $2.6M (£1.7M)
STAR TREK: INTO DARKENSS $2.7M (£1.8M)
IRON MAN 2 $2.8M (£1.8M)
FAST FIVE $2.8M ((£1.8M)
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN $2.8M (£1.8M)
TED $3M (£2.1M)
TRANSFORMERS: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON: $3.5M (£2.2M)

FAST & FURIOUS 6 is set in London and had its global premiere in London so an initial opening in the U.K. was fitting for this installment in Universal's homegrown franchise. The film opens on Friday, May 24 in North American and day and date in 59 international territories.

 

GLOBAL PREVIEW: Why the 'Fast & Furious' Franchise is the Model for Today's Global Blockbusters on May 23, 2013

Fast6.jpgChris, the 5 year-old screenwriter cited by The Onion as the screenwriter for Fast Five, claimed in a 2011 interview that the Fast & Furious franchise had enough material for 600 sequels. The satirical clip might be on to something after Fast & Furious 6 opened at the U.K. box office last week with $13.2 million ahead of this weekend's global day-and-date expansion.

The Fast & Furious franchise is a perfect example of how today's blockbuster films are developed with global box office numbers in mind. The original cast was reunited in 2009 with Fast and Furious after an international spin-off, 2006's The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, failed to gain any significant traction. With the pieces in place and renewed popular interest, Universal set out to retool the franchise -molding it into a global heist thriller; the obnoxious, loud patrimony derived from the comparatively compact and effete legacy of The Italian Job (1969).

The focus of the films went from the niche world of street racing to the more accessible heist thrillers that can pull in a wider audience by including action sequences and higher narrative stakes. The franchise embraced the globetrotting exoticism that adorns James Bond films by setting the fifth entry in Brazil, with a vibrant soundtrack and marketing campaign to match the allure of Rio de Janeiro. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson joined the cast to add global box office clout to the film's star power. 

The previous entry in the franchise grossed a series-best $628 million globally, including an eye-opening $418.7 million take. Fast & Furious 6 has the potential to be one of the summer's biggest hits and has its sights set on a $500 million overseas cume. Whether or not it gets there will largely depend on the film's staying power. A market-leading opening weekend is all but assured, but the film will have to retain viewers through the coming weeks if it wants to meet the lofty expectations set by Fast Five.

The trailer for Fast & Furious 6 features exotic locales, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, a globe-trotting storyline, Vin Diesel saying "That's the deal: take it or leave it," explosions, men with big muscles wearing tight and/or sleeveless shirts, car chases, attractive women in short skirts, a tank, Ludacris, more car chases, Michelle Rodriguez asking if you believe in ghosts, and a car chasing an exploding airplane.

Fast & Furious 6 will open in North America and over 50 overseas markets throughout the weekend. The biggest performers out of the gate promise to be Russia, Brazil, and Mexico. Key markets like Australia, China, and South Korea are coming up later this summer. 

Can 'Epic' Replicate the Success of 'The Croods?'

Epic expands beyond Latin America with a $19.9 million head start. The animated film will hit theaters across Europe and the Middle East this weekend, including key markets like France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Epic will become the first animated film to hit screens in the last two months for most territories, hoping to catch some of the windfall from the The Croods' $376 million overseas run.

Poor Reviews Won't Stop 'The Hangover Part III' in Australia and the U.K.  

The Hangover Part III is opening in a handful of English-speaking territories this weekend, coinciding with the film's North American release. The Hangover Part III is the third (and reportedly final) entry/rehash in the trilogy about a group of grown men who wake up with headaches before going off on zany adventures that usually involve a zoo animal. Bad reviews have dampened some of the film's buzz heading into the weekend, a factor complicated by the previous entry's similarly poor critical reception. The Hangover Part III should be the frontrunner for the top spot in Australia and the U.K., benefiting from markets with few new comedies in release.

Follow Daniel Loria and BoxOffice on Twitter for more news on the global box office.


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