‘Fast & Furious 6’ Leads Record-Breaking Memorial Day Weekend !

Fast & Furious 6. Still going strong after 12 years and five sequels, the street-racing saga easily drove off with the box office crown this holiday weekend. According to studio estimates, it fell just $1.5 million shy of speeding past $100 million during its first three days; over the full Memorial Day holiday, it’s expected to earn $122.2 million. It’s an especially impressive feat given how crowded the multiplex is with blockbusters right now. Credit the movie for the multi-ethnic appeal of its cast, which also helped Fast 6 gross $177 million overseas, for a worldwide total so far of $275.5 million. Also credit the film for delighting longtime fans by delivering exactly what it promises. With an A grade from CinemaScore, word-of-mouth is very strong.

Then again, nearly every major release did well this weekend, for a total estimated domestic box office of $315 million through Monday. That’s a Memorial Day weekend record, surpassing the $296 million earned during the holiday two years ago. Last week’s champ, Star Trek Into Darkness, held up well with an estimated $38.0 million over three days (good for third place) and a likely $48.0 million through Monday.  Also staying strong was Iron Man 3 (fifth place), with a Friday-to-Sunday estimate of $19.4 million and a full holiday estimate of $24.6 million. After four weeks, it’s approaching $400 million, with $367.5 million earned through Sunday.

Summer Movie Preview 2013

In this environment, new family cartoon Epic did even better than expected, opening in fourth place with an estimated $34.2 million through Sunday and a likely $44.0 million by the end of the holiday. It’s the first major animated family film since The Croods opened 10 weeks ago, so the marketplace was hungry.

LOSER OF THE WEEK: The Hangover Part III. Months ago, the head-to-head opening of Fast 6 and Hangover III looked like an evenly-matched sausage-fest showdown. But it wasn’t even close. Hangover opened in second place, but with just an estimated $42.4 million over three days, meaning perhaps $51 million by Monday.

Its take through Sunday is about half of the three-day debut logged by The Hangover Part II ($86.0 million) two years ago. Of course, that second Hangover squandered most of the goodwill earned by the first, and even though this final installment promised to change gears, it still earned a B from CinemaScore, indicating just so-so word-of-mouth. Even Epic managed to steal some of its thunder.

‘MIDNIGHT’ MOVIE By one measure, the most eagerly awaited sequel of the weekend was Before Midnight, the third in the every-nine-years series of glimpses into the transatlantic romance of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy). It opened on just five screens but earned an estimated $274,000 from Friday to Sunday, for a per-screen average of $54,800. That’s by far the highest per-screen average of any movie this week; Fast 6 earned about half that per venue ($26,935). Also opening strong in limited release were Israeli Oscar entry Fill the Void ($60,400 on three screens), documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks ($29,000 on four screens), and A Pig Across Paris ($10,000 at one venue).

Fast & Furious 6 First Teaser Trailer Released!

Universal Pictures released the first proper teaser trailer for the 6th installment of the ultra successful Fast and Furious franchise during this year’s Super Bowl. Once again a bunch of cool guys who drive fast cars get into lots of trouble dealing with a heist of some sort. Only this time, they appear to be with the good guys. That means Vin Diesel and The Rock are on the same side.

You will also get the usual dose of high speed chases, massive crashes, incredible fire fights, and bootilicious chicks. Fast 6 also includes Gina Carano. Think of that as an added bonus!

Plot: Since Dom (Diesel) and Brian’s (Walker) Rio heist toppled a kingpin’s empire and left their crew with $100 million, our heroes have scattered across the globe. But their inability to return home and living forever on the lam have left their lives incomplete. 

Meanwhile, Hobbs (Johnson) has been tracking an organization of lethally skilled mercenary drivers across 12 countries, whose mastermind (Evans) is aided by a ruthless second-in-command revealed to be the love Dom thought was dead, Letty (Rodriguez). The only way to stop the criminal outfit is to outmatch them at street level, so Hobbs asks Dom to assemble his elite team in London. Payment? Full pardons for all of them so they can return home and make their families whole again. 

Building on the worldwide blockbuster success of Fast Five and taking the action, stunts and narrative to even greater heights, Fast & Furious 6 sees director Justin Lin back behind the camera for the fourth time. He is supported by longtime producers Neal H. Moritz and Vin Diesel, who welcome producer Clayton Townsend back to the series.