May 27th, 2011
01:47 PM ET
The holiday weekend is off to a good start for “The Hangover Part II" crew – the movie collected $31.7 million at the domestic box office on Thursday, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
That total gives “Part II” the third best Thursday opening total of all time, THR reports, a title that comes on the heels of the movie having the highest midnight screening open for an R-rated film. "Hangover Part II's" midnight shows on May 26 brought in $10.4 million.
It’s not jaw-dropping in comparison to movies like “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” which, as the Los Angeles Times points out, pulled in more than $30 million from post-midnight showings, but it is strong for an R-rated movie. For example, the R-rated sequel “Sex and the City 2” earned only $3 million from midnight openings around this time last year.
The New York Times suggests that "If you superimposed a diagram that mapped out all the narrative beats, characters and jokes in 'The Hangover Part II' over one for 'The Hangover,' the two would align almost perfectly. Banking on the studio adage that there’s no success like a previous box office hit, Mr. Phillips and company dutifully recycle the first movie to increasingly diminishing ends."
E! Online describes it as a “buzz-kill follow-up that suffers from a pervasive sense of been there, drunk that,” while Roger Ebert explains that if you’ve seen the first one, he doesn’t really have to describe the plot to you for “Part II.”
And that's not a wholly bad thing. “This is a raunch fest, yes, but not an offense against humanity,” Ebert, who gave the film two stars, says, adding that "the movie has its share of laughs.”
A lot of younger moviegoers are banking on it: According to THR, 54 percent of Thursday's audience was under 25. Taking its opening day gross into consideration, it looks like “Hangover Part II” is on track to earn between $110 and $125 million over the holiday weekend.
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