Two years ago, "The Hangover" writer/director Todd Phillips told MTV News: "I love 'The Hangover' so much and I think we could crush it with the sequel." In terms of ticket sales, at least, he was right.
"The Hangover Part II" crushed a box-office record over the weekend, grossing $86 million from Friday-to-Sunday, the biggest opening ever for a live-action comedy. Thanks to the Memorial Day holiday and a Thursday debut, the buddy sequel (which swaps Las Vegas for Thailand) has already made $117 million. "The Hangover" opened with $45 million in 2009. "Part II" stands just behind "The Matrix Reloaded" on the list of R-rated openings.
Another sequel, "Kung Fu Panda 2," was the #2 movie at the box office, according to studio estimates. Featuring the voice of Jack Black in the title role, the animated kids' flick debuted with $47.8 million over the four-day weekend. The movie's 3-D screenings accounted for about 45 percent of its business. The film's opening weekend total was less than that of the first film, despite many positive reviews. "The Hangover Part II," by comparison, was a flop with critics.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" took in $39.5 million for a two-week $153.1 million domestic total. "Bridesmaids" held strong with $16.5 million to come in at #4 with an $85.1 million total. "Thor" rounded out the top five with $9.4 million for a $159.7 million total.
Filmmaker Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" managed to enter the top 10 despite playing at only 52 locations. (By comparison, "The Hangover" sequel was available at over 3600 locations). Starring Owen Wilson and bolstered by strong reviews, "Midnight" was #7 at the box office with $1.9 million for a two-week total of $2.8 million. Also in limited release, "The Tree of Life," starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, opened at four locations with $373,000.
Mutant superhero prequel "X-Men: First Class" hits theaters this weekend. As of press time, the latest entry in Fox's "X-Men" franchise boasts a perfect 100 percent positive rating with critics, according to movie review site Rotten Tomatoes. This weekend's limited releases include "Beginners" (starring Ewan McGregor), "Beautiful Boy" and the Ben Stiller produced "Submarine."
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