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6th time the charm: Audiences turn out in droves for 'Furious 6'

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 2 2015 4:56 a.m. MDT

This film publicity image released by Universal Pictures shows Michelle Rodriguez in a scene from This film publicity image released by Universal Pictures shows Michelle Rodriguez in a scene from "Fast & Furious 6." (Giles Keyte, Associated Press)

So much for originality.

Car-racing metaphors seemingly dominated all the narratives that entertainment insiders spun about the box-office demolition “Fast & Furious 6” inflicted on “The Hangover Part III” over the four-day Memorial Day weekend.

The New York Times’ Brooks Barnes: “Hollywood expected a box-office drag race to end them all for the Memorial Day weekend, with two huge-scale sequels, both in categories most popular with younger men, opening in rare direct competition. But it turned out to be no contest at all. ‘Fast & Furious 6’ raced to a projected $122.2 million in ticket sales for the four-day period, easily claiming the No. 1 spot at North American theaters, while ‘The Hangover Part III’ blew a tire and overheated, taking in a disappointing $63.8 million since its arrival on Thursday.”

Time Magazine’s Richard Corliss: “The long weekend was expected to provide a tight race between ‘Furious 6’ (called ‘Fast & Furious 6’ in the film’s advertising) and the comedy franchise ‘The Hangover Part III.’ But Universal’s super-vehicle sped away at the first lap and never looked back. ‘Furious 6’ won the weekend at North American theaters with $98 million, according to preliminary studio estimates, and expects to cruise across the finish line with $122 million by the end of business (Monday).”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Pamela McClintock: “Thanks to an engine more powerful than ever, ‘Fast & Furious 6’ topped the Memorial Day box office with $120 million for a worldwide total of $317 million — a franchise best and the biggest debut of all time for Universal. … The victory was made sweeter by the fact that ‘Fast 6,’ costing $160 million to produce, had no trouble zooming past ‘The Hangover Part III,’ the final installment in Todd Phillips' R-rated comedy franchise.”

The Los Angeles Times’ Amy Kaufman: “ ‘Fast & Furious 6’ blew past the finish line at the box office this Memorial Day weekend, leaving ‘The Hangover Part III’ to face a sobering reality. The sixth entry in the action-packed ‘Fast’ franchise took in a robust $120 million from Thursday evening through Monday, according to an estimate from distributor Universal Pictures. That's by far the best opening for the series, whose fifth installment collected $86.2 million over a three-day weekend in 2011.”

Per entertainment website Box Office Mojo, “Fast & Furious 6” netted the fourth-best Memorial Day weekend ever by surpassing $120 million. (“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” holds the all-time mark for the four-day Memorial Day weekend, with $139.8 million in 2007.)

Jamshid Ghazi Askar is a graduate of BYU's J. Reuben Clark Law School and member of the Utah State Bar. Contact him at jaskar@desnews.com or 801-236-6051.

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