#TaniaOnTheScene - Both films — along with Fox’s new animated pic “Epic” and a strong group of holdovers — help drive Memorial Day ticket sales to a record $322 million; “Before Midnight” shines at the specialty box office.
Universal’s Fast & Furious 6 is racing towards a $122 million Memorial Day debut after leaving The Hangover Part III in the dust and scoring the studio its biggest domestic opening of all time, not accounting for inflation. The action pic also marks the studio’s biggest international opening, taking in $158 million and pushing the film’s worldwide total north of $280 million through Monday.
Universal’s previous best opening was Jurassic Park entry The Lost World, which debuted to $90.2 million over Memorial Day weekend in 1997.
In North America, many questioned the decision to open Fast 6 and Hangover III — the final installment in Todd Phillips' R-rated comedy franchise — on the same weekend, since they each target males. Fast 6 benefited mightily from Hispanics, who made up 32 percent of the audience and are the most frequent moviegoers in the U.S.
"This isn’t just a car racing movie anymore. It’s an action pic with broad appeal," said Universal president of domestic distribution Nikki Rocco, noting how unusual it is for a franchise to gain such strength with time. “And it played to a tremendously diverse audience.”
Costing $160 million to make, Fast 6 returns stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and Michelle Rodriguez to the cast.