Box Office Analysis, May 26: ‘Indiana Jones’ Hits All-Time No. 2 Memorial Day Opening

SUNDAY 9:00 p.m. (Pacific): Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will likely be the all-time No. 2 Memorial Day opening and the all-time No. 5 five-day opening in movie history by Monday night. Crystal Skull dipped an estimated 12 percent from Saturday’s robust $37M for a very solid $32.56M Sunday for a traditional three-day of $101M. I am projecting a 21 percent drop on Memorial Day for a probable $21.72M. That will push the first Indiana Jones movie in 19 years to $126.28M for the long weekend. As Memorial Day openings go, Harrison Ford and his fedora trail only Johnny Depp and his three-cornered captain’s hat.


1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: $139.8M opening

2. Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: $125.6M opening

3. The Lost World: Jurassic Park: $90.1M opening

4. The Day After Tomorrow: $85.8M opening

5. Bruce Almighty: $85.7M opening

Although Crystal Skull  has failed to challenge George LucasStar Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith for best five-day opening ever, its projected $151.32M is still impressive in historical terms.

Amazingly, Crystal Skull  is the first $100M three-day opening for Steven Spielberg in his career as a director. Crystal Skull will pass $150M in five days, the fastest any movie on Spielberg‘s remarkable resume has reached that benchmark. It took 11 days for War of the Worlds, 14 days for The Lost World and 16 days for the original Jurassic Park to get there.

The second weekend in release for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Disney) is a major disappointment. The family film has failed to get any real traction in the marketplace and, after a $7.49M Sunday, it will likely wrap up the long holiday weekend with a four-day of $28.82M. Its 11-day cume is just $96.86M compared to the $117.82M posted by The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe had posted at the same point in its release. That’s down 18 percent for Prince Caspian, which has a reported budget of $200M. This is the second of a proposed seven-film Narnia franchise with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader already in production. Phillip Anschutz, the reclusive Christian billionaire behind Walden Media, must be getting a little uneasy.

Marvel’s self-produced, self-financed Iron Man is showing no signs of slowing down. The Jon Favreau-directed superhero film added another $6.84M on Sunday, and it will soar to a $25.08M four-day. By Monday night, Iron Man (Paramount) will have a new domestic cume of $257.25M or so. It is the all-time No. 4 grossing live action superhero film, trailing only the three Spider-Man movies.

With two of the top three grossing films over the long holiday, Paramount will have accounted for 72 percent of the $208.87M total box office scored by the top 10. Last year, Paramount reached $1 billion in domestic box office on or about July 9, which was the fastest that any studio has reached the mark. This year the distributor could reach the $1 billion mark by June 15, the end of Kung Fu Panda‘s second weekend.


1. NEW! Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount): $126.28M; $29,587 per theater average (PTA); $151.1M cume

2. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Disney): $28.6M; $7,290 PTA; $96.6M cume

3. Iron Man (Paramount): $25.08M; $6,408 PTA; $257.25M

4. What Happens in Vegas (Fox): $11.1M; $3,430 PTA; $56.3M cume

5. Speed Racer (Warner Bros): $5.2M; $1,617 PTA; $37.4M cume

6. Baby Mama (Universal): $4.208M; $1,896 PTA; $53M cume

7. Made of Honor (Sony): $4.200M; $1,768 PTA; $39.8M cume

8. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Universal): $2.1M; $2,130 PTA; $58.7M cume

9. Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (Warner Bros): $1.22M; $1,637 PTA; $36.22M cume

10. The Visitor (Overture): $917,000; $3,316 PTA; $4.5M cume