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Box office

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: The Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been a coin flip for Hollywood and the music biz alike. Sure, it’s a 72-hour (or more) block of free time, but as the unofficial gateway to summer, Memorial Day represents going to the beach or barbecuing in the backyard for most people, not sitting in a darkened theater. So the Hollywood studios have to be delighted about the three-day weekend just passed, as a pair of debuting guy movies combined for $171 million in grosses—though one of them clobbered the other. Universal’s positively trending Fast & Furious 6 accounted for $120 million in ticket sales for the three-day period, compared to Warner Bros.The Hangover Part III, which took in $51.2 million despite being critically reviled, to say the least. Two more franchise sequels made the Top 5: Star Trek Into Darkness (Paramount) came in #3 with $47 million in its second week, while Iron Man 3 (Disney) brought in another $24.4 million, good for #5. Between them was the new animated feature Epic (20th Century Fox) with $42.6 million.

1. Fast & Furious 6 – $120m, 3,658 theaters, $32.8k avg.
2. The Hangover Part III – $51.2m, 3,555 theaters, $14.4k avg.
3. Star Trek: Into Darkness – $47m, 3,907 theaters, $12k avg.
4. Epic – $42.6m, 3,882 theaters, $11k avg.
5. Iron Man 3 – $24.4m, 3,424 theaters, $7.1k avg.

WB’s The Great Gatsby is hanging on with $17m in its third week, averaging $5.5k in 3,090 theaters. Overall, it appears we have a new Memorial Day weekend record, with projected total ticket sales of $323 million, beating the previous high mark set in 2004, when Shrek 2, The Day After Tomorrow and Troy led the field to a $303 million in total grosses, according to Hollywood.com. (5/28a)

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