Friday, May 24, 2013

The Projector: Pedal to the Metal Edition UPDATE

Sunday UPDATE: Formula 1 has nothing on the hellacious horsepower of the Fast & Furious franchise. Its sixth outing shredded the asphalt with a $98.5M opening frame ($122M for the 4-days), king of the biggest Memorial Day weekend of all time. That's a significantly larger bow (+$12.5M) than their last spin around the track, as Vin Diesel, The Rock and the boys (and girls) show no signs of slowing down, aging more gloriously than Diane Lane. Things weren't quite so fab for the Wolfpack. The Hangover III suffered the effects of a MD 20/20 bender, bowing to $42.4M, a mountainous 51% drop from their 2011 critically-trashed, yet fiscally-fortuitous trip to Thailand. What did Warner Bros. expect with a decapitated giraffe as the centerpiece of its "comedy"? The weekend's other new release, Epic, finished fourth behind Star Trek Into Darkness, banking $34.2M, $9M less than last animated offering, The Croods. But the Alice in Wonderland meets Avatar three-dimensional wonder received an "A" Cinemascore, as it will monopolize the family market until Pixar's prequel, Monsters University, drops June 21st.

1. Fast & Furious 6 $98.5M ($122M 4-day)
2. The Hangover III $42.4M ($52M 4-day, $63M including Thursday)
3. Star Trek Into Darkness $38M ($49M 4-day)
4. Epic $34.2M ($44M 4-day)
5. Iron Man 3 $19.4M ($24.6M 4-day)

If you're seeking originality this Memorial Day weekend, steer clear of your local multiplex. With a combined nine installments, Fast & Furious 6 and The Hangover III will slug it out for box office supremacy, with the dudes in souped-up rigs having a distinct advantage over the hedonistic trio returning to their Vegas roots. As of press time, the former is smashing the latter 75%-22% in the Tomatometer race, though it's not like either of these ridiculously-successful franchises lives/dies on the opinions of film critics. Word-of-mouth however is a whole different beast, which could put the wolfpack in peril.
  1. Fast & Furious 6 $77M ($99M 4-day) – With $700M banked stateside since its 2001 debut drive, the addicted-to-horsepower franchise shows no signs of slowing down with 2011's Fast Five becoming the highest-grossing episode to date with a herculean $210M haul.
  2. The Hangover III $65M ($79M 4-day, not including Thursday) – Speaking of hangovers, Phil, Stu and Alan are suffering one after their resoundingly abhorred trek through Thailand. It should make little difference this weekend as moviegoers put it out of mind and make an escape to Sin City for one final ride — hopefully.
  3. Epic $38M ($50M 4-day) – Following The Croods financial windfall, the folks responsible for the uber-profitable Ice Age franchise bring the ambitiously entertaining Epic to theaters, hoping for a similar level of fiscal fruition.
  4. Star Trek Into Darkness $33.5M ($43M 4-day) – Captain Kirk and his Vulcan sidekick Spock had a less than stellar $70M opening frame.
  5. Iron Man 3 $18.5M ($24M 4-day) – Busted through the $1B barrier last weekend with the next sure-to-be-massive superhero flick, Man of Steel, soaring onto the big screen in three weeks.