‘Hangover II’ Is No. 1 Movie With $86.5 Million in Ticket Sales

“The Hangover Part II” was the top film in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, generating $86.5 million in receipts for Warner Bros., and making it the best debut ever for a comedy.

The 3-D feature “Kung Fu Panda 2,” a follow-up to DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. (DWA)’s 2008 film, opened in second place with $48 million, Hollywood.com Box-Office said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

“The Hangover Part II” bested the comedy-debut record set by “The Simpsons Movie” ($74 million) in 2007. The U.S. celebrates the Memorial Day holiday this weekend, which is also one of the summer film season’s biggest for moviegoers. Total receipts for the weekend were up 49 percent from the year-ago period. That boosted sales for the year to date, though they remain down 8.82 percent.

“‘Hangover’s’ opening is sensational; it’s doing more than doubling the first movie’s opening and that’s way more than you can ask for,” said Brandon Gray, president of Box Office Mojo, an audience-reporting service. “Typically, comedy sequels struggle.”

Gray had forecast the movie would make $70 million in three days. The original film in 2009 cost $35 million to make and had sales of $45 million its opening weekend before generating $467.5 million overall for Time Warner Inc. (TWX)’s Warner Bros.

“The Hangover Part II” drew audiences even as poor reviews led to a 65 percent “rotten” rating on Rottentomatoes.com.

‘Kung Fu Panda 2’

The raunchy comedy has a similar plot to the original. The main characters wake up in a hotel room after wild partying with little memory of what transpired the night before. As in the previous film, the friends are played by Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms.

In “Kung Fu Panda 2,” primary character Dragon Warrior Po battles a new villain while discovering secrets about his past. The movie features the voices of Jack Black as Po and Angelina Jolie as his ally, Tigress. Gary Oldman plays Shen, Po’s antagonist.

The original “Kung Fu Panda” opened with $60.2 million in sales and took in $631.7 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, based in Sherman Oaks, California.

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the fourth film in the Walt Disney Co. (DIS) series, dropped to third place from first with sales of $39.3 million. The movie has taken in $152.9 million in the U.S. and Canada since it opened on May 20.

‘Bridesmaids’

In “On Stranger Tides,” Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow is enlisted in a search for the Fountain of Youth. Penelope Cruz co-stars as Angelica, a pirate determined to save the soul of Blackbeard from damnation. Geoffrey Rush returns as Sparrow’s rival, Barbossa, and Ian McShane plays Blackbeard.

“Bridesmaids,” from Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s Universal Pictures, dropped to fourth from second with $16.4 million. The film, produced by Judd Apatow, features Kristen Wiig as the maid of honor who must cope with financial woes and personality conflicts among members of the bridal party. The movie has had sales of $84.9 million in three weeks of release.

The superhero saga “Thor,” from Disney’s Marvel unit and Viacom Inc. (VIA/B)’s Paramount Pictures, was fifth with sales of $9.37 million. In “Thor,” the arrogant, hammer-wielding god of Norse mythology is banished by his father Odin to Earth to live among humans. He learns to accept the responsibility when evil forces invade Earth. Chris Hemsworth stars as Thor and Anthony Hopkins plays Odin.

Revenue for the top 12 films for the three-day period rose to $216.4 million from the year ago, Hollywood.com said. The box-office tracker said the weekend’s receipts for Friday through today are likely to surpass the record $255 million set in 2007.

Year to date, attendance is down 10.2 percent.

The amounts below are based on actual ticket sales for May 27 and May 28 and estimates for yesterday.

                       Rev.            Avg./   Pct.   Total
Movie                 (mln)  Theaters  Theater Chg.   (mln)  Wks
================================================================
1 HANGOVER: PART 2     $86.5   3,615  $23,923   --   $118.1   1
2 KUNG FU PANDA 2       48.0   3,925   12,229   --     53.8   1
3 PIRATES OF CARIBBEAN  39.3   4,164    9,443   -56   152.9   2
4 BRIDESMAIDS           16.4   2,958    5,535   -22    84.9   3
5 THOR                   9.37  3,296    2,841   -39   159.7   4
6 FAST FIVE              6.62  2,981    2,220   -37   196.0   5
7 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS      1.92     58   33,090   220     2.8   2
8 JUMPING THE BROOM      1.90    939    2,023   -49    34.2   4
9 SOMETHING BORROWED     1.85  1,440    1,281   -48    34.8   4
10 RIO                   1.78  1,672    1,065   -62   134.8   7
11 PRIEST                1.7   1,918      886   -64    27.3   3
12 WATER FOR ELEPHANTS   1.1     794    1,354   -51    54.4   6


Top 12 Films Grosses:

   This Week     Year Ago      Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
     $216.4        $145.3      48.9


Year-to-date Revenue:

     2011          2010
      YTD           YTD        Pct.
     (mln)         (mln)       Chg.
===================================
   $3,937.4     $4,340.0      -8.82%

Year-to-date Attendance:      -10.2%

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net Allison Bennett in New York at Abennett23@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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