In this weekend's battle of the unlikely Asian adventurers, roly-poly Zen master comic Zach Galifianakis outfought roly-poly martial arts master Po. 'The Hangover Part II' easily won the weekend box office with a four-day total estimated at $105.8 million,' compared to an estimated $62.2 million for 'Kung Fu Panda 2.' Nonetheless, both new movies, along with 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides' and many other strong holdovers, made this the biggest Memorial Day weekend ever at the box office.
'Hangover II' set a number of benchmarks. It's now the fourth-highest Memorial Day weekend opening ever, behind 'X-Men: The Last Stand.' Its Friday-to-Sunday earnings of $86.0 million mark the biggest three-day weekend opening ever for a comedy and the second biggest R-rated opening (after 'The Matrix Reloaded.') It's also the third biggest opening of 2011, after last week's 'Pirates' and last month's 'Fast Five.' Add in the $31.6 million the movie scored by opening a day early, on Thursday, and its five-day total comes to $137.4 million.
Many pundits predicted that 'Kung Fu Panda 2' would run neck-and-neck with 'Hangover II' and maybe even beat it. It also debuted on Thursday, it's more family-friendly, it opened on 310 more screens and it boasts 3D surcharges on many of them. Yet 'Panda 2' earned just $68 million over five days, less than half the take of 'Hangover II.'