'Fast & Furious 6' races to biggest opening for Universal Pics

Mon May 27, 2013 4:38pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The action-packed sixth installment of the "Fast & Furious" film franchise claimed victory at the North American box office for the three-day U.S. Memorial Day weekend on Monday, and became the biggest opening film in Universal Pictures' history.

"Fast & Furious 6," starring Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, grossed an estimated $120 million from Friday till Monday, making it the second-biggest film opening of the year behind Disney's "Iron Man 3's" $175.3 million earlier this month.

The film also rang up an estimated $300 million at the global box office.

Universal Pictures said "Fast & Furious 6" bested its predecessor in the series, "Fast Five," which previously held the title of best opening for the studio with $83.6 million at domestic theaters.

"Fast & Furious 6" also raced ahead of raunchy comedy "The Hangover Part III," the third and final installment of the comedy about four men trying to piece together the events of a wild night.

"Hangover," starring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms as friends unwittingly drawn back to Las Vegas, made an estimated $51.2 million at the U.S. and Canada box office over the long weekend, keeping in line with studio projections.

The film also opened in its first three international markets over the weekend - United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand - grossing $19 million, bringing the total in the markets where it is showing to an estimated $70.2 million.

"Some might argue that we should have stopped at one, but we loved doing these movies and the audience has been there" for them, Todd Philips, the director of the "Hangover" franchise, told Reuters ahead of the film's release.   Continued...

Cast member Elsa Pataky poses at the premiere of the new film, "Fast & Furious 6" at Universal Citywalk in Los Angeles May 21, 2013. REUTERS/Fred Prouser