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Scott Bowles, USA TODAY

STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

- Sixth film in franchise is biggest yet

- 'Hangover Part III' sees healthy business

- Hollywood does record business over the Memorial Day weekend

"Fast & Furious 6" spent the Memorial Day weekend revving the box office to record sales over the holiday.

The latest installment of the lead-footed franchise did a whopping $122.2 million over the holiday weekend, according to studio estimates from Hollywood.com. The bow is easily the largest debut yet for a series that has grossed $1.6 billion worldwide.

Analysts projected the Vin Diesel film would open to $80 million.
The opening gave "Furious" a surprisingly easy win over The "Hangover Part III," which also did healthy business on Hollywood's most important weekend at the box office outside Thanksgiving.

Despite tough reviews, Hangover managed $52 million, which meets most projections over the long weekend. Just 21% of the nation's critics recommended the movie, says polling site Rottentomatoes.com. Fans gave the movie a "B," says pollsters CinemaScore.

Moviegoers went mad over "Furious," however. About 73% of critics gave it a thumbs-up, while a staggering 95% of fans liked it, Rottentomatoes.com says.

"Furious" propelled all business this weekend. Overall business at theaters hit $323 million over four days, trouncing the record of $277 million in 2011.

The $160 million "Furious" also debuted in first place in 59 foreign markets and is expected to do another $150 million overseas.

A seventh film is slated for July 11, 2014.

"Star Trek Into Darkness" was third with $48 million, bringing the sequel's overall haul to $156.8 million.

The only other major newcomer, the 3-D animated fantasy "Epic," took fourth place on Friday with $9.4 million, putting it on pace for a $40 million weekend. Analysts projected $35 million for the film.

"Iron Man 3" rounded out the top five with $24.6 million.

The busy weekend helped Hollywood gain some ground on last year's ticket sales pace, though 2013 remains down 7% from 2012, Hollywood.com says.

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