‘Fast & Furious’ Faces Two New Box Office Challengers This Weekend

Jaden Smitth and Will Smith

After a record-breaking Memorial Day weekend for the industry, Universal’s Fast & Furious 6 looks to make it two in a row at the top of the box office chart with a second weekend gross in the $40 million range (Fast Five dropped 62% in its second weekend, but we expect a slightly lower drop). With $130 million already in the bank after just six days of release in North America (and well north of $300 million globally), the film is already an out and out blockbuster success.

No stranger to summer success is Will Smith, who debuts this weekend in the existential sc-fi movie After Earth from Sony Pictures. The film co-stars Smith’s son Jaden Smith who starred in the 2010 hit The Karate Kid. Director M. Night Shyamalan, who has as many detractors as fans, is nonetheless an exciting filmmaker with a distinctive vision. An expected debut of about $30 million should land it easily in second place.

Third place will likely go to Paramount’s Star Trek: Into Darkness in its third weekend of release with a weekend gross in the $20 million range and total revenues nearing $200 million in North America. Great word-of-mouth has continued for the second installment of the J.J. Abrams re-boot of the classic franchise.

A real traffic jam may develop in the battle for fourth and fifth place with the second weekend of Fox’s animated Epic likely to draw a gross in the high teens and thus find itself in a close race with Lionsgate’s magic crime caper film Now You See Me, which is expected to debut in the same range. Featuring a terrific ensemble cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, and Mark Ruffalo, this unique and original drama could find an audience with those looking for something different than the usual summer fare.

The wildcard is the Wolf Pack. Back for its second weekend, Warner Bros. The Hangover Part III could wind up wedging between Epic and Now You See Me depending on the second weekend drop. Of course, Iron Man 3 remains a factor even as it enters its fifth weekend.

Follow Paul Dergarabedian on Twitter @PDergarabedian | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com

 ‘Fast & Furious 6’ Leads Industry to Record Memorial Weekend

A ‘Fast & Furious’ Memorial Weekend May Cause a Box Office ‘Hangover’

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