In a grappling decision about which highly-anticipated film to catch this weekend, more moviegoers chose Fast & Furious over The Hangover 3. The speed limit-breaking franchise beat out the antics of The Wolfpack for a stellar Memorial Day weekend opening, raking in an estimated $98.5 million in North American ticket sales Hangover’s $42.4 million.
“To do this again, and have critics rave which is so unusual for this type of film […] that’s unbelievable,” said Nikki Rocco, president for domestic distribution at Universal Studios.
Universal predicts that the sixth Fast & Furious installment, starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is headed for a total of $122.5 million at the box office by the end of the holiday weekend. The film has also received a healthy international welcoming, making $177 million overseas, a number that is projected to reach $275.5 by Monday (May 26).
With a surprising 49-percent-female audience, the turbo-charged Fast 6 leads the way of what may be North America’s biggest Memorial Day weekend box office yet. Star Trek Into Darkness, which rounds out the top three films of the weekend, is on its way to adding $48 million to the holiday weekend numbers.
If projections are accurate, the total domestic movie tickets sales could reach a whopping $323 million, laying the previous 2011 record of $276.3 million to rest. Meanwhile, Hangover 3 is falling short of anticipated ticket sales, expecting to bring in just $64 million by the week’s end — $70 million less than predicted.
Universal Studios has confirmed a seventh Fast & Furious film is scheduled to hit theaters in July 2014.