Box Office Guru

Box Office Guru Wrapup: Indiana Jones Rules Over Slow Holiday Weekend

CG gophers no deterrent for moviegoers worldwide.

by | May 26, 2008 | Comments

Harrison Ford
scored his first number one opening in eight years with the much-hyped adventure
sequel Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
which dominated moviegoing over the Memorial Day holiday weekend grossing more
than all other films in the marketplace combined. But despite the explosive
start for the long-awaited return of Indy, the rest of the box office slumped
with few strong performances from supporting players. Overall it was the slowest
Memorial Day weekend in five years.

19 years after the last installment, the Indiana Jones franchise proved
that it was still relevant in today’s entertainment world as
Crystal Skull
opened to a stunning $126M over the four-day
Friday-to-Monday holiday period, according to estimates. The Friday-to-Sunday
portion accounted for $101M and since the Paramount release’s Thursday launch
the cume has soared to $151.1M in five days. Playing in 4,260 locations, the
PG-13 pic averaged a sensational $23,709 over three days and $29,587 over four
days.

The Friday-to-Sunday figure ranks as the tenth highest debut in box office
history while the cume is the sixth best five-day start ever. The only other
films to gross more in their first five days of release were
Star Wars Episode III
($172.8M, Thu-Mon),

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
($169.5M, Fri-Tue),
Spider-Man 3

($169.4M, Fri-Tue),
Pirates of
the Caribbean: At World’s End
($153M, Thu previews-Mon), and
Spider-Man 2

($152.4M, Wed-Sun). Not bad company. The $185M-budgeted Kingdom also
enjoyed the second largest Memorial Day weekend opening ever after last year’s
At World’s End which looted $139.8M over its official Friday-to-Monday
period.

Crystal Skull marked the reunion of
Harrison Ford
with director
Steven Spielberg
and executive producer George Lucas
while newcomers like Shia LaBeouf
and Cate Blanchett
joined the cast for this fourth escapade. Reviews were mixed but generally
positive. The five-day opening began with $25M on Thursday. Friday saw a 24%
increase to $31M, Saturday jumped another 19% to $37M, Sunday dipped by 11% to
$33M, and the studio is estimating a 24% Monday decline to $25M.


The new Indiana Jones adventure also attacked multiplexes around the
world and grossed a stellar $160M internationally since its first launches on
Wednesday. Indy ranked number one in all 61 territories it opened in and
brought its global cume to $311M in less than one week of play.

Last week’s top film
The Chronicles of
Narnia: Prince Caspian
tumbled in its second weekend of release to an
estimated $28.6M over four days as the Friday-to-Sunday portion collapsed by a
horrific 58%. It was the worst gross in nine years for the second place film
over Memorial Day weekend. In 1999,
Notting Hill

claimed that spot with $27.7M over four days behind chart-topper Star Wars
Episode I
. However, that amount would be about $38M at today’s prices so the
new Narnia still sold fewer tickets.


Caspian boosted its 11-day total to $96.7M and looks as if it will top
out at $140-150M from North America or about half of the $291.7M that

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
grossed. This is a major stumble
for Disney which has been developing Narnia as a long-term franchise meant to
keep revenue flowing in for several years to come.

The year’s top-grossing smash Iron Man
finished its fourth weekend in third with a strong $25.7M over four days,
according to estimates, and watched its cume skyrocket to $257.8M. The three-day
portion dropped by just 37%. Paramount and Marvel continued to benefit from
solid word-of-mouth as the super hero flick raced up to number 40 on the list of
all-time domestic blockbusters surpassing I Am Legend‘s $256.4M. With
both Iron Man and Indiana Jones rocking the holiday box office,
Paramount dominated the multiplexes accounting for a whopping 72% of the entire
top ten. The Robert Downey Jr. sensation is a virtual lock to join the $300M
club now.





Moviegoers looking for a comedy over the long weekend found it in the
Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher
pic What Happens in Vegas
which took in an estimated $11.2M over four days. Meanwhile Speed Racer
continued to crash and burn falling to an estimated $5.2M. Each film was in its
third weekend. Totals stand at a robust $56.4M for the Fox hit and a miserable
$37.4M for the pricey Warner Bros. entry.

Both Speed Racer and Prince Caspian were expected to add muscular
numbers to the May box office but moviegoers have not been too impressed. The
weaker-than-expected openings and the steep declines have led to a lack of depth
in the marketplace as the Memorial Day frame usually sees strong contributions
from a number of different films.





Universal’s pregnancy comedy Baby Mama
held up well again grossing an estimated $4.2M in four days boosting the overall
take to $53M. Also laughing up the same estimated amount was the romantic comedy Made of Honor
raising Sony’s cume to $40M.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
was still remembered by audiences in its sixth frame taking in an estimated
$2.2M for a $58.7M total for Universal. New Line’s Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay
followed with an estimated $1.2M in its fifth outing for a $36.2M sum. Rounding
out the top ten was the indie hit
The Visitor

with an estimated $917,000 lifting the cume to $4.6M.





The top ten films grossed an estimated $209.4M over four days which was down 14%
from last year when Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End opened in the top
spot with $139.8M; and down 9% from 2006 when X-Men: The Last Stand debuted at
number one with $102.8M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com