After last weekend's high-flying start, Up seemed poised to hang on to the top spot for a second weekend, but The Hangover rang in with a punchy opening day gross to top Friday and has a shot at maintaining that lead for the weekend as a whole.
The Hangover drew an estimated $16.5 million on approximately 4,500 screens at 3,269 sites. That's more in a single day than the entire opening weekends of pictures like Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and The Heartbreak Kid. Not only that, first day attendance was around 40 percent higher than for Wedding Crashers and more than 60 percent higher than Knocked Up, among past raunchy summer comedies that were pre-ordained hits like Hangover.
On this same weekend last year, You Don't Mess with the Zohan had a $14.9 million Friday and wound up with a $38.5 million weekend. If Hangover follows the same path, its weekend would come in at $43 million. If it tracks more like I Love You, Man, Role Models and other comparable recent titles, it could go as a high as $47 million.
With an estimated $13.5 million on Friday, Up is headed for a weekend gross in the same range as The Hangover. Pixar's adventure comedy eased 37 percent Friday-to-Friday, which was about the same percentage drop as Finding Nemo at the same point and much better than Cars and WALL-E. In eight days, Up's tally stands at $106.6 million.
The other new adventure comedy, Land of the Lost, chimed in with less than half the business of The Hangover. Land bagged an estimated $7.2 million on around 4,800 screens at 3,521 sites. That was about a million dollars more than Speed Racer's first day last year and slightly more than Journey to the Center of the Earth, which kicked off with $6.7 million on course to a $21 million first weekend. However, it was a bit less than Land lead actor Will Ferrell's last television show adaptation, Bewitched.
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian continued to trail its predecessor, grossing an estimated $4.5 million. It held relatively well, off 38 percent, for a $117.2 million tally in 15 days. Drag Me to Hell had about the same percentage drop as The Strangers on this weekend last year, down 60 percent to an estimated $2.6 million for a $23.8 million total in eight days. On the cusp of $100 million, Terminator Salvation pulled in an estimated $2.5 million in its 16th day of release, declining 50 percent from last Friday.
Star Trek had the best hold among nationwide releases, slowing 30 percent to an estimated $2.5 million. With $216.9 million in 29 days, it has now surpassed Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home as the second biggest movie of the Star Trek franchise, adjusted for ticket price inflation.
Also opening nationwide, My Life in Ruins started with a modest $1.1 million at 1,164 locations.