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Indiana Jones Tops Iron Man's Opening (Kind Of)

May 28th, 2008

The first long weekend of the summer has come and gone and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was able to earn the tenth best opening weekend of all time, assuming you don't count Iron Man's Thursday night box office. (Which apparently we are supposed to.) However, while this is good news, the overall box office is still in a slump. Sure, the 3-day total was $172 million, which was 31% higher than last weekend, but it was more than 16% lower than the same weekend last year. Add in Monday and the box office pulled in $219 million, which was 14% lower than last year's 4-day total. Year-to-date, 2008 is now 4% behind last year's pace at $3.51 billion to $3.37 billion.

Intriguingly, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull got off to a much weaker start than I was expecting, earning just $25.04 million on Thursday. However, throughout the rest of the weekend it earned almost exactly as I predicted, pulling in $100.14 million over three days and $126.92 million over four for a total of $151.96 million after five. What can explain this? Simply put, I was expecting the movie to be like a Fanboy magnet, which would result in a lot of front-loading. However, instead it acted more like a family friendly adventure film, much like Prince Caspian. This, combined with the reviews, should help the film's legs in the long run. At this point, $300 million is the minimum I would expect for a total, while it could reach $350 million or more. If it can reach those upper levels, it should end the year as the number one film for 2008.

Ouch. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian earned as much over four days as I was expecting it would earn in three ($29.80 million) and even with the holiday it was down nearly 60% over the three day weekend ($22.79 million). It underperformed the low end of expectations and wasn't able to reach $100 million after the long weekend -- it is currently sitting at $97.85 million. Matching its production budget domestically will be a real challenge. However, it has been performing better internationally and if it does well there, it should still earn a respectable profit. That said, Voayge of the Dawn Treader will likely be the last of the films made.

On the other hand, Iron Man was able to top the high end of expectations by earning $20.45 million over three days and $26.11 million over four. In total, the movie has brought in $258.28 million and is still on pace to crack $300 million, but it could be close. Next week's post holiday drop-off will tell us more.

What Happens in Vegas... also performed a little bit better than expected earning $9.12 million / $11.36 million over the weekend for a total of $56.91 million. This is already enough to be considered a midlevel hit, and it could pull in $20 million more.

The final film in the top five was Speed Racer, which made $3.94 million / $5.27 million. The film has only made $37.48 million on a production budget of $120 million, and the less said about that, the better.

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Filed under: Iron Man, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, What Happens in Vegas..., Speed Racer