Friday Box Office Analysis

By Tim Briody

May 23, 2009

Do they make little Owen Wilson action figures? Cause I want one.

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Biggest weekend ever? Not so much.

Terminator Salvation

After a $13.4 million Thursday, Terminator Salvation earned another $14.9 million on Friday. While I want to retain a little bit of perspective here, I can only sum up the first two days like this: Uh-oh.

We are now officially in the "somebody's getting fired" scenario. Remember yesterday when David Mumpower cautioned that due to the extended weekend, there isn't much of an initial day rush factor and thus films are likely to rebound strongly (Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End went from $13.2 million to $42.9 million and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull went from $25 million to $30.6 million)? To only increase 10% from Thursday-to-Friday is just bad news all around. There's no way to spin this positively at all.

Continuing to use Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as a model, Indy's Saturday take increased 19.5% from Friday's. At this point I'm thinking that's a bit of a pipe dream for Terminator Salvation. What is looking like an absolute best four day estimate is about $60 million with Monday getting it to $70 million.


Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

By the way, in the analysis of Terminator Salvation, I failed to mention that it was actually in second place for Friday. The sequel to Night at the Museum took the top spot with $15.3 million.

The first film makes for a lousy comparison as it was a December release that had ridiculous holiday legs. A fun fact here is that the first day of Battle of the Smithsonian beats any single day Night at the Museum ever had. So that's a good start. Perhaps the closest thing I can come up with is Madagascar, a Memorial Day weekend release back in 2005. It should follow the pattern of a solid Saturday increase, followed by mild declines Sunday and Monday. Madagascar had a 4.37 multiplier over four days. With the wild success of the first film and families that haven't really had anything for them since Monsters vs. Aliens, Battle of the Smithsonian should come in with around $69 million over the four days. Which is an amount Terminator Salvation will need five days to do.

Dance Flick

The other release this weekend, the Wayans' latest spoof Dance Flick, checks in with a probably better than expected $3.9 million. I have nothing more to add about this, so just give it around $13.6 million for the weekend.

Angels and Demons

The Da Vinci Code sequel plummets 64% from last Friday to $6 million. Amazingly, The Da Vinci Code had the exact same size Friday-to-Friday decline as Angels and Demons, so we're pretty sure where this might just end up come Monday. Which is about $24.7 million over the four days. With an above average chance Star Trek ends up ahead of it when the weekend is finished.

Projected Estimates for the Top Ten (Four-Day)
Estimated Gross
1 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 67.9
2 Terminator Salvation 56.5
3 Star Trek 27.3
4 Angels and Demons 24.7
5 Dance Flick 13.6
6 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 9.4
7 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past 4.5
8 Obsessed 2.3
9 Monsters vs. Aliens 1.4
10 17 Again 1.2



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