THE HANGOVER PART II was the easy winner this Memorial Day weekend with a more than $86 million dollar gross. The screwball laugh at loud comedy easily topped Jack Black’s KUNG FU PANDA 2 which topped $47.8 million dollars, even though PANDA played in 3925 theaters compared to THE HANGOVER, which opened in 310 less theaters, but managed to better pack in the audiences. The first HANGOVER film was made on a $35 million dollar budget, and grossed more than $497 million, making it real smash, and really encouraging this sequel to be made. The sequel has a much bigger budget of $80 million, and reportedly made more than $177 million so far.
Some critics such as Roger Ebert didn’t really like THE HANOVER PART II, seeing it as a raunchy attempt to milk laughs. However audiences seemed to well like the show which should make plenty of money in both theaters and in later DVD and BluRay disc release versions.
THE HANGOVER PART II also faced some legal hurdles. The designer of Mike Tyson’s tattoo filed a lawsuit to prevent the release of the film claiming that the tattoo in the film was a ripoff of his claimed copyrighted design. However, a judge allowed the film’s release to go ahead while the merits of the tattoo lawsuit will be decided some other day.
PETA was also up in arms that little Crystal, a capuchin monkey, appears to be smoking a cigarette in the film, however this smoke was digitally added. However, reports are that the American Humane Society’s disclaimer about no animals being harmed during the filming of the movie are missing according to one report. However, it is unlikely that any animals were harmed in this film. Further, Crystal is a star animal, also appearing in both the NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM films.
Last week’s #1 film, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES, slid down to #3 this past weekend, taking in $39.5 million, or a 56% slide in box office gross, although actually appearing in nine more theaters than last week.
BRIDESMAIDS, last week’s #2 film, slid down to #4, taking in more than $16.5 million dollars, still proving that it’s one of the most successful vehicles for recent SNL stars in recent memory. BRIDESMAIDS also expanded to a few more theaters as well, while audiences are slowing slightly for the new release.
THOR came in at #5 this past weekend, taking in more than $9.5 million, slipping from #3 last week. THOR played in 3296 theaters, down by 628 theaters from a week earlier.
Other top ten also-rans were #6, FAST FIVE, at $6.4 million and #7, MIDNIGHT IN PARIS, which is doing much better in it’s second week at $1.9 million, because of playing in more theaters than the week before. #8, this week as well as last week is SOMETHING BORROWED, taking in more than $1.8 million. #9 and #10, are RIO and JUMPING THE BROOM, both taking in $1,825,000 million. So you can flip a coin and decide which one is stronger than the other.
#11, is PRIEST, at $1.7 million, who is unlike any priest that I’ve seen. And, no he doesn’t give out communion either. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS came in at #12, taking in a little bit over one million dollars.
It’s pretty clear that comedies dominated this holiday weekend’s box office, with a few big winners like THE HANGOVER PART II really walking away with the gold medal.