"Hangover" persists at U.S. weekend box office
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Raise your glasses to "The Hangover."
The raunchy comedy with a largely unknown cast logged a second consecutive weekend atop the North American box office with estimated three-day sales of $33.4 million, said distributor Warner Bros. Pictures.
The Las Vegas-set hijinks, with a surprisingly strong $105.4 million banked after 10 days, easily fended off a pair of new entries boasting some major star power.
Columbia Pictures' remake of the 1974 subway-hijacking thriller "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3," starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta, opened at No. 3 with $25 million, in line with expectations.
Eddie Murphy, on the other hand, scored his second consecutive summer bomb, this time with the Paramount Pictures family comedy "Imagine That," which opened at No. 6 with $5.7 million. The comic previously starred in "Meet Dave," which opened to $5 million last July and finished with $12 million.
Walt Disney Pictures Pixar cartoon "Up" held at No. 2 with $30.5 million, taking its total to $187.2 million after three weekends. The previous Pixar release, "Wall-E," had earned $163 million in the same span last summer.
Rounding out the top five were the Ben Stiller comedy hit sequel "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" (Fox) which held steady at No. 4 with $9.6 million in its fourth weekend; and the latest Will Ferrell bomb "Land of the Lost" (Universal), which fell two places to No. 5 with $5.6 million in its second weekend. Their respective totals stand at $143.4 million and $35 million.
Industry pundits expect "The Hangover" to hit $200 million -- not bad for a movie that cost a reported $31 million to make. The action revolves around three guys struggling to remember what happened at a wild bachelor party the night before. It stars Justin Bartha, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms, and was directed by Todd Phillips of "Old School" fame.
In taking 10 days to hit $100 million, it set a new speed record for an R-rated film, surpassing the 11-day mark set last year by "Sex and the City." It also becomes the first movie to enjoy a second weekend at No. 1 since "Madea Goes to Jail" in February.
Warner Bros Pictures is a unit of Time Warner Inc. Walt Disney Pictures, a unit of Walt Disney Co. Columbia Pictures is a unit of Sony Corp. Universal Pictures is a unit of General Electric Co's NBC Universal. 20th Century Fox is a unit of News Corp. Paramount Pictures is a unit of Viacom Inc.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Eric Walsh)