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'Fast & Furious 6' Revs Up Top Ten for Record-Breaking Memorial Day Weekend Box Office

Photo of Tom Brueggemann By Tom Brueggemann | Thompson on Hollywood May 26, 2013 at 1:04PM

Led by two openers whose series combined have reached nine films total, business for the first time in 2013 blasted far ahead of the previous year. And more importantly, it did so on one of the biggest weekends of the year.
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'Star Trek Into Darkness'
'Star Trek Into Darkness'
3. Star Trek Into Darkness (Paramount) Week 2; Last weekend #1

$38,000,000 (-46%) in 3,907 theaters (+39); PSA: $9,726; Cumulative: $146,827,000

This fell a little less than half from its under-expectations opening, which is a concern with the $190 million budget and the series not likely to exceed domestic grosses by much overseas. This looks headed to a sub-$250 million domestic total, below the somewhat lower-cost series reboot in 2009 (aided by extra 3-D charges). Still an impressive performance for such a long-running series, but the comparison to cost puts a bit of a damper on any assessment.

What comes next: Like "The Hangover," continuing the franchise at this level of expense seems tricky at best.

4. Epic (20th Century-Fox) NEW; Cinemascore: A; Criticwire grade: C; Metacritic score: 54

$34,200,000 in 3,882 theaters; PSA: $8,810; Cumulative: $34,200,000

Memorial Day weekend has in recent years sometimes seen new animated releases - in 2011, "Kung Fu Panda" grossed just under $48 million, "Shrek Forever After" in 2009 did $70 million. "Epic"'s figure failed to equal those, and also fell short of what the Fox-released "The Croods" reached in March ($43.6 million). That doesn't mean this is a failure, but rather just average for a major animated opening.

Though "The Croods" beat expectations, many of the top non-Pixar animated opening grosses come from sequels and franchise films. "Epic" as a fresh entry (though with many of the elements common to similar films -(fairy tale, 3D, natural setting with an ecological twist) needs to find its level yet, with audience reaction (the Cinemascore looks solid) determining whether it can thrive in the months ahead as a younger audience go-to film. With a relatively low budget of just under $100 million and international responding well to similar films, this has a chance to be a solid performer.

What comes next: With the holiday tomorrow and many schools already out, this could get close to $60 million by Friday. If it does, it should be in decent shape.

5. Iron Man 3 (Buena Vista) Week 4; Last weekend #2

$19,424,000 (-46%) in 3,424 theaters (-813); PSA: $5,673; Cumulative: $372,701,000

The only thing tepid about "Iron Man 3"'s continued great performance is that it is falling short of last year's Marvel blockbuster "The Avengers," which with much weaker competition grossed nearly twice as much the same weekend, having already passed $500 million domestic. That's a minor caveat for a film that stands as the one to beat for best grosser of the year -- apart from its U.S./Canada total, worldwide its already over $1.1 billion.

What comes next: Still in play for a few more weeks.

6. The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros.) Week 3; Last weekend #3

$13,705,000 (-43%) in 3,090 theaters (-460); PSA: $4,435; Cumulative: $114,432,000

Holding up well despite the major competition, with a domestic total approaching $150 million now seeming possible. With international still in the early stages, it's still too early to say for certain whether this $105 million production + marketing expense project will make a sizable profit (assuming it gets into the black), but the gamble so far seems to be working.

What comes next: Three of the film's likely best countries - Japan, China and Australia - still haven't opened.

7. Mud (Roadside Attractions) Week 5; Last weekend #8

$1,980,000 (-11%) in 712 theaters (-248); PSA:$2,781; Cumulative: $14,587,000

The resiliency of this film is impressive. Benefiting from lack of adult-oriented films and good word of mouth, this jumped a position despite some theater loss.

What comes next: With only "Before Midnight" later in June looking to be a wider-release indie film, this has the shot of unexpectedly hitting $20 million.

8. 42 (Warner Bros.) Week 7; Last weekend #6

$1,245,000 (-56%) in 915 theaters (-1,465); PSA: $1,361; Cumulative: $91,049,000

This suffered elevated theater loss with Warners having two other films in release. The PSA actually went up this weekend, but the gross suffered.

What comes next: In a less crowded market this had a better chance to hit $100 million. Still, with the much below average cost, score this as a solid hit.

9. The Croods (20th Century-Fox) Week 10; Last weekend #5

$1,215,000 (-60%) in 1,008 theaters (-1,365); PSA: $1,205; Cumulative: $179,368,000

Fox' own "Epic" provided the main competition both for theater placement and audience as this long-running DreamWorks Animation success.

What comes next: With international more than doubling this total, a sequel can't be far behind.

10. Oblivion (Universal) Week 6; Last weekend #7

$815,000 (-65%) in 572 theaters (-1,505); PSA: $1,425; Cumulative: $87,200,000

This stuck around a week longer than expected (last week's higher positioned "Pain and Gain" lost nearly all its audience to "Fast & Furious 6"), but this is a very low number to be in 10th place any time of the year.

What comes next: Worldwide is approaching $300 million, which puts the film close to break-even territory.


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