‘The Hangover Part II’ wakes up to $10.4 million from midnight screenings


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Audiences enjoyed a late-night party with the boys of ‘The Hangover.’ The sequel to the surprise 2009 comedy hit opened in 2,600 theaters just after midnight on Thursday and raked in $10.4 million in the U.S. and Canada, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros.

That’s a very strong early showing for an R-rated comedy. For instance, ‘Sex and the City 2,’ another R-rated comedy that opened on Memorial Day weekend last year, only took in $3 million in post-midnight screenings.


Of course, it’s still not as big as movies with huge built-in fan bases such as the ‘Twilight’ and ‘Harry Potter’ series. Last year’s ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ grossed more than $30 million from late-night screenings after midnight on a Wednesday in June 2010, an all-time record. ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,’ which opened in summer 2009, collected $22.2 million from midnight ticket sales.

Typically, grosses from midnight showings indicate strong fan interest in a film. People who have seen pre-release audience surveys believe ‘The Hangover Part II’ could sell between $125 million and $160 million worth of tickets by Monday, a record-breaking figure for an R-rated comedy. Warner has a more conservative estimate of between $90 million and $100 million. If late-night screenings were any indication, however, the studio’s prediction will turn out to be low.

-- Amy Kaufman


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