Weekend Forecast: Can The Hangover Part II Really Break $100 Million? (Hint: Yes)
The news of The Hangover Part II's $10.4 million midnight haul was the latest evidence of the R-rated comedy tentpole's freakish ownership over the approaching Memorial Day weekend. But $100 million for the five-day frame? We're getting into some uncharted territory here. Let's get our bearings in the latest edition of Weekend Forecast.
[Click the links for Movieline's review of each film.]
· The Hangover Part II: First of all, again: We're talking about a five-day, Thurs-Monday window here. This isn't Dark Knight/Spider-Man 3 three-day money we're talking about. It still is something phenomenal, though, with some estimates going as high as $160 million in the US and Canada. (The foreign gross is going to be nuts, too.) But as far as historical examples of an R-rated comedy sequel that flirted with even half of that, the best I could really come up with was American Pie 2 raking in $45 million in 2001. (Sex and the City 2 last year only drew in $31 million.) Surely there are others, but they don't really matter after this weekend. It's as much a shot in the dark as anything, but it's my best shot in the dark... FIVE-DAY FORECAST: $104.4 million
· Kung Fu Panda 2: Oh yeah, this. Not to be underestimated -- but definitely to finish second. However, considering the Holy Box-Office Trinity of this year's animated animal flicks to date -- Rango, Rio and Hop -- you don't need to cry for DreamWorks Animation or old Po the panda. Just watch them park their Brink's truck in your local multiplex's specially marked "Counterprogramming" spot, and let a gaggle of American families do the rest. FIVE-DAY FORECAST: $72.2 million
THE PRIME DESTINATION
Woody Allen's marvelous Midnight in Paris expands to 58 screens from a mere six last week. Between this and The Tree of Life, the art house boasts an embarrassment of riches this week. Really, you must see it.
· The Tree of Life: Malick. Pitt. Penn. Palme d'Or. If you're not in line already in the NYC/L.A. markets where it opens this weekend, then you'd better have a great excuse. Leave it below -- along with your best Hangover Part II call if you've got one.