Not only did Warner Bros.’ The Hangover II score the best opening of all time for a comedy, it grossed the most of any R-rated film in its first five days.
Hangover, debuting last Thursday on the eve of the long Memorial Day weekend, earned $137.4 million through Monday. That beats the $134.3 million earned by The Matrix Reloaded in its first five days.
Technically, however, Matrix Reloaded still retains the crown for top opening for an R-rated film when comparing weekend earnings for the two titles.
Matrix Reloaded grossed $91.8 million over the Friday-Sunday stretch, while Hangover grossed $86 million.
It’s difficult to make exact comparisons since Matrix Reloaded didn’t open over Memorial Day. The movie debuted May 15, 2003, a Wednesday.
Whatever the case, Hangover is squarely No. 2 in terms of all-time best opening for an R-rated film.
It is the best opening ever for a comedy, besting the $85.7 million earned by Bruce Almighty over Memorial Day weekend in 2003, as well as the biggest Saturday ever for a comedy ($29.7 million). Hangover's Friday-Sunday tally was $86.4 million.
Hangover is a sizeable victory for Warners and co-financing partner Legendary Pictures, and delivered the studio its best Memorial Weekend ever (Terminator Salvation was the previous crown holder at $65.3 million). “This blows everything out of the water. It’s pretty amazing stuff,” Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution Dan Fellman said. “Moviegoers love all the characters, and they love the story.”
So, could a third Hangover be on the way?
"We'll see," director Todd Phillips recently told the Associated Press. "It's about audience's desire to see it, and how well this one does, and if these guys are up for taking another trip and doing something (expletive) crazy."
Said star Bradley Cooper, "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves. There's no rush."
For now, he is impressed with the film's success thus far. Asked by the AP if he feels pressure to top the success of the first film, Cooper said: "The pressure I felt was to make a great movie, and I believe we made a great movie. That's the pressure. Whether the audience is going to like it or not, it's out of our control. We've done everything we can to make a movie we're proud of. I think it's certainly better than the first movie."