The “Hangover” franchise is no longer a laughing matter.
The third -- and promised final -- installment in the booze-fueled exploits of the so-called Wolf Pack is bombing at the Memorial Day weekend box office, where it is being run over not only by “Fast & Furious 6” but also by the 3-D animated family film “Epic.”
When “The Hangover Part III” debuted late Wednesday, industry prognosticators were estimating that the sequel would gross about $80 million in its first five full days of release -- a steep drop from the $135 million the second movie made between Thursday and Monday in 2011, but a decent enough opening in absolute terms.
But early returns Friday suggested that the Warner Bros. “Hangover” film, which cost $103 million and was trashed by critics, could gross as little as $48 million in its five-day debut. The best-case estimates only have “The Hangover Part III” grossing about $55 million, well below the $80-million projection.