Posted by: steveonfilm | May 25, 2009

Weekend Box Office Numbers May 22-24th

Well honk my hooter, who thought Ben Stiller could take Christian Bale in a fight, but that’s exactly what happened this weekend.

Night at the Museum’s performance isn’t really a surprise. It’s a family flick. Everyone can go. It’s dumbed down, slapstick, pop-corn fun. It opened stronger than the first movie, and did quite well considering it’s competition.

Terminator Salvation on the other hand is a different story. This is sci-fi, so all the fans are going to come out opening weekend, because they don’t want their friends to spoil it for them if they don’t. Terminator is one of the ultimate sci-fi franchises, with Terminator 2 being one of the few sequels some consider better than the first (Aliens being one of the others, both directed by James Cameron).

But something happened with Salvation. And that something is word of mouth. Nothing about this movie, save for the visual effects, was reportedly good by anyone who saw the pre-screenings. And if there is one group of fans who read reviews and take word of mouth more seriously than any other group, it’s sci-fi fans. I’d have to say a 45 million domestic gross this weekend has to be considered a failure. We’ll see how it manages over the course of the summer, but right now things don’t look too good.

It makes me wonder how much better Museum might have done if Terminator hadn’t come out this weekend.

Star Trek edged out Angels and Demons for third place, which isn’t a surprise as word of mouth continues to push non sci-fi/Trek fans to check it out. Trek dropped 50% off last weekend gross, which was it’s second week out. Demons dropped over 50% off it’s first weekend’s gross. My bet is it will be near the bottom of the top ten by next weekend.

Wolverine is still hanging in there at number 6, and Monster’s Vs. Aliens continues to print money at number 9.

Next weekend Pixar’s UP should easily take number one, but I’ll be more interested to see how Sam Rami’s return to horror, Drag Me To Hell, does. This movie has decent buzz, was made relatively cheaply, and from all reports was something Rami had a great time making.

1. Night at the Museum 2 $53.5 Million
2. Terminator Salvation $43 Million
3. Star Trek $21.9 Million
4. Angels and Demons $21.4 Million
5. Dance Flick $11.1 Million
6. Wolverine $7.8 Million
7. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past $3.7 Million
8. Obsessed $2 Million
9. Monsters vs Aliens $1.3 Million
10. 17 Again $1 Million


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