New Yorkers Flock to the Movies for Record Holiday Weekend

By Ben Fractenberg on May 30, 2011 4:06pm 

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — Memorial Day is having a Hollywood ending.

The holiday weekend was the biggest ever for Tinseltown with $280 million in ticket sales, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

The biggest hit was "The Hangover Part II," which reportedly grossed $137.4 million from Thursday to Monday in North America. "Kung Fu Panda 2" chopped its way to the No. 2 slot, grossing $68 million.

The previous record was set in 2007 with $255 million in sales over the holiday weekend.

Crowds lined up for matinees in Manhattan on Monday afternoon.

"It's really hot and there is nothing else to do except go to the beach, but that's going to be too crowded," Josue Franco, 27, said on his way to see "The Hangover" Monday afternoon at the AMC Theater on Broadway and 68th Street.

Four-year-old Oliver Konopko said he was drawn to the movie theater to see "Kung Fu Panda 2."

"I've seen Kung Fu Panda like a billion times," Konopko said.

His sister interjected with a slight correction.

"He's seen it five times," said nine-year-old Charlotte Konopko.

Upper West Side residents Angie Keblesh, 35, and Leah Schweller, 38, said they wanted to go to the theater when it wasn't so crowded.

"It's the best time to be in the city," said Schweller. "Everyone is gone."

At least one moviegoer saw the outing as part of his patriotic duty.

"Seeing a movie on Memorial Day is a very American thing," said John Coltelli, 57, who had tickets for Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd streets.

"And it's beautiful weather. It brought everyone out."

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