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May 31, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

TTalk about nursing a hangover! Moviegoers were doing just that in spades over the Memorial Day holiday as they spent $137.4 million between Thursday and Monday on The Hangover Part II, according to an estimate by Warner Bros. It marked the biggest gross for the debut of any R-rated comedy ever. While the film had received generally negative reviews from critics, audiences apparently loved it. According to exit surveys conducted by CinemaScore, audiences gave it an average grade of A-minus. (Surprisingly the film also performed strongly overseas — where U.S. comedies are generally a hard sell. In the U.K. it took in an estimated $16.5 million, making it the best debut for a comedy in that country, too.) Coming in second domestically was DreamWorks Animation’s 3D feature Kung Fu Panda 2, which took in a decent $68 million over the five days. The original film collected $60.2 million in three days in 2008 — without the benefit of a 3D surcharge. In its second weekend, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides dropped a modest 56 percent to $50.4 million, but it collected a remarkable $124.3 million overseas, putting its foreign gross at $485.1 million. Universal’s Bridesmaids once again saw a tiny slide in its third week, dropping just 21 percent to $21 million, bringing its domestic total to $89 million. In limited release, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris expanded to 58 theaters where it amassed $2.6 million. That’s an amazing average of nearly $45,000 per theater and was good enough to take seventh place at the weekend box office. Cannes Film Festival winner The Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick and starring Brad Pitt, also opened strongly in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles with $488,920 over four days.