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'Fast 6' takes $120 million on debut weekend

by SANDY COHEN AP Entertainment Writer on May 28, 2013 10:59 AM

LOS ANGELES — After a lackluster start to the year, the movie industry enjoyed its most robust Memorial Day weekend ever at the box office, with “Fast & Furious 6” speeding to the top spot.

The record-breaking four-day weekend generated estimated receipts of $316 million.

“Over $300 million for Memorial Day weekend has never happened before,” said box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Holly wood.com.

“This proves that when you have a great selection of films, audiences will line up at movie theaters in record numbers.”

The sixth installment of the “Fast & Furious” franchise debuted at No. 1 with $120 million, making it the biggest opening weekend for a Universal Pictures release, according to Hollywood. com.

Starring Vin Diesel and Paul Walker, the muscle-car action romp took in an additional $158 million internationally.

Fans turned out because filmmakers upped the ante, said Nikki Rocco, Universal’s head of distribution.

“The creative team, the filmmakers and the studio put their heart and soul into making it bigger and better,” she said.

“When you have this many films in the franchise ... you have to take it in a new direction.”

The street racers battle both a tank and a plane in the film.

The record-breaking weekend take bodes well for the summer movie season, Dergarabedian said: “This Memorial weekend is exactly what the industry needed and this momentum will carry forward.”

Estimated ticket sales are for Friday through Monday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Holly wood.com. Where available, latest international numbers are also included.

1. “Fast & Furious 6,” $120 million ($158 million international)

2. “The Hangover Part III,” $51.2 million ($19.2 million international)

3. “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” $47 million ($13.1 million international)

4. “Epic,” $42.6 million ($23.1 million international)

5. “Iron Man 3,” $24.4 million ($17.4 million international)

6. “The Great Gatsby,” $17 million ($24.4 million international)

7. “Mud,” $2.5 million ($400,000 international)

8. “The Croods,” $1.6 million ($5.8 million international)

9. “42,” $1.6 million

10. “Oblivion,” $1.1 million ($2.3 million international)

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