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Museum Terminates the Competition

May 26th, 2009

Two new releases opened over Memorial Day long weekend, and while neither was able to compete with last year's champion, their combined total helped the box office grow. Over the three-day period, there were $176 million in ticket sales, which was 28% more than last weekend and 2.4% more than the same weekend last year. Over four days, the box office brought in $222 million, which was 1.2% more than the same weekend last year. Year-to-date, 2009 has earned $3.90 billion, which is 14.4% higher than last year's pace of $3.41 billion.

Night at the Museum - Battle of the Smithsonian topped expectations over the weekend with $54.17 million over three days and $70.05 million over four. That's very close to Thursday's prediction, but with weaker than expected competition, it was able to take top spot with relative ease, leading the daily box office race throughout the weekend. Compared to the original movie, the sequel earned as much in four days as its predecessor earned in nearly a week. However, with mixed reviews and several monster hits opening over the coming weeks, I don't think it will have the same legs.

Terminator - Salvation may have killed off the franchise. Its opening wasn't disastrous; however, at $65.32 million it was below expectations. In fact, it earned less over five days than many were expecting it would earn over three days. The film started weaker than expected with $13.37 million on Thursday, didn't grow enough on Friday to maintain top spot, and by Monday it was 40% lower than Night at the Museum on the daily chart. The weakest reviews of the franchise won't help going forward, and unless it's a major hit internationally, it will have a tough time paying off its $185 million production budget.

On the other hand, Star Trek has earned enough worldwide that it could already be profitable. The film made $22.89 million / $29.38 million over the long weekend to give it $191.01 million after three weeks of release. It should take top spot for the year before the weekend starts, while it will earn almost as much as the four Next Generation movies earned in total.

With $21.72 million / $27.41 million over the weekend, Angels and Demons came within a rounding error of matching expectations; however, with $87.52 million domestically, it is well below expectations. That said, the movie has close to $200 million internationally, and its worldwide box office should be enough to ensure a profit. Perhaps even a large enough profit to earn another installment in the franchise.

The final wide release of the week was Dance Flick, which many thought would be lost in the shuffle. It still managed to place fifth with a respectable total of $10.64 million / $12.62 million. This means it made more over three days than it was expected to make in four. On the other hand, its respectable reviews dropped from more than 40% positive to just 26% positive over the weekend, and this could result in a rather front-loaded run.


Filed under: Star Trek, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Angels & Demons, Terminator Salvation, Dance Flick