On Thursday, The Hangover Part II blasted off with an estimated $31.66 million at 3,615 locations, marking the highest-grossing opening day ever for a live-action comedy. That also nearly doubled the $16.7-million Friday start of the first Hangover.
Among all Thursday grosses, The Hangover Part II ranked third behind Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith ($50 million) and The Matrix Reloaded ($37.5 million), although it would slot fourth adjusted for ticket-price inflation, behind Attack of the Clones. The last three pre-Memorial Day weekend Thursday debuts are Sex And The City 2 ($14.2 million), Terminator Salvation ($13.4 million) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($25.0 million).
Among all 2011 opening days so far, The Hangover Part II ranked third, behind Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($34.9 million) and Fast Five ($34.4 million), but those were Friday debuts. Included in The Hangover Part II's opening day was its $10.4 million midnight launch at 2,600 locations, which was the biggest of of the year and more than doubled Pirates' $4.7 million.
Kung Fu Panda 2 was overshadowed by the Wolf Pack, grossing an estimated $5.8 million at 3,925 locations. The disparity between the two movies will shrink over the weekend as only ten percent of K-12 schools were out on Thursday. The animated comedy is the first major family movie to debut on a Thursday outside of the holiday season, so there is no apples-to-apples comparison to gauge its performance, although Shrek 2 grabbed $9.2 million in its first Thursday while Shrek The Third bagged $5.9 million. The first Kung Fu Panda opened on a Friday and made $20.3 million.