Warner Bros' R-rated comedy The Hangover grossed an amazing $43 million in its debut, although Disney/Pixar holdover "Up" remained No 1 at the domestic box office at $44 million.
Weekend also brought the summer's first box office clunker, Universal's big-budget comedy "Land of the Lost." The Will Ferrell starrer grossed $19.5 million from 3,521 theaters, well below the $30 million the studio had hoped for.
Heading into the weekend, director Todd Phillips' "The Hangover" was projected to open in the low to mid-$20s. Film's ability to roar past those projections and come close to beating "Up" underscores the healthy appetite for comedies.
Pic secured the third best opening ever for an R-rated comedy playing in 3,269 theaters.
Weekend's other new wide entry was "My Life in Ruins," which grossed $3.2 million from 1,164 locations to place only No. 9. Focus Features had much better luck with Sam Mendes' dramedy "Away We Go." Film grossed an estimated $143,260 from four theaters in New York and LA for a per location average of $35,815.