In an attempt to beat the Memorial Day weekend rush, Warner Bros. has bumped up “The Hangover Part III” to Thursday, May 23, a day before Universal launches its similarly male targeted “Fast and Furious 6.”
The showdown between the two tentpoles has been an odd strategy from the beginning, with neither studio willing to give up the lucrative holiday play period. Warners was hugely successful releasing “The Hangover Part II” over Memorial Day weekend 2011. Universal, meanwhile, claimed the date for its franchise pic after “Fast Five” became a massive hit in April 2011.
Execs from each studio insist the holiday market place will expand to accommodate both films, however.
“Hangover Part III” has been building solid buzz over the past weeks being called better than the last, which is needed to develop word-of-mouth over a long four-day weekend. Warners has begun marketing the film in earnest, with a print campaign spoofing the studio’s “Harry Potter” finale.
Fox’s animated pic “Epic,” from Blue Sky Studios, also bows Memorial Day weekend, counterprogramming the more adult-skewing studio competition.