the hangover III

With a solid $3.1 million Wednesday night start for “The Hangover Part III,” Warner Bros. execs should be tickled pink as the pic’s late-night perf nearly matches that of “Star Trek” last weekend — and without the benefit of higher-priced 3D or Imax.

REVIEW: ‘The Hangover Part III’

Warner expands “Hangover” nationwide on Thursday to 3,555 locations.

“Hangover” benefited from being the only new release bowing early, as did “Star Trek Into Darkness,” which made $3.3 million Wednesday night leading up to an $84 million four-day Stateside bow last weekend. Still, “Hangover” will compete directly with Universal’s “Fast and Furious 6″ when it bows Friday.

Tracking suggests “Hangover” will make $75 million-$85 million in five days; “Fast 6″ could see $100 million, at most, in four.

The head-to-head showdown between “Hangover” and “Fast and Furious 6,” along with a potential $40 million debut for Fox’s family entry “Epic,” should translate to a likely record-breaking Memorial Day weekend reaching upwards of $300 million total.

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