Box Office News

Box Office Analysis, May 30: "Sith" Rules Memorial Day

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May 30, 2005 | 10:21am EDT

Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith expectedly claimed the top spot during the Memorial Day weekend, with a four-day total of $70.7 million.

The newcomers to the Top 10 also held their own. The CGI-animated Madagascar--about a quartet of pampered zoo animals who find themselves stranded in the wilds of Madagascar--debuted in second place with a four-day total of $61 million. Third place went to the football remake The Longest Yard, with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, opening with a four-day total of $60 million.

Bolstered by George Lucas' final chapter of the Star Wars saga, this is the second best Memorial Day weekend ever--but the Top 12 movies gross of $225.5 million was still 5.5 percent behind last year's record Memorial Day weekend, when Shrek 2 and The Day After Tomorrow alone combined for $181 million in grosses between them.

"On the one hand, yeah, 14 weeks, that's a terrible slump," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations told the Associated Press. "But I'm optimistic, because this weekend proves you can still get a heck of a lot of people in theaters with the right movies. It takes a lot more to excite people today, and the crop of movies this year other than Star Wars and the movies that opened this weekend haven't inspired audiences to make that step and go to the theaters."

In this four-day weekend, the Top 12 films grossed an estimated $225.5 million, down 4.56 percent from last year's draw of $238.6 million. The three-day total of $177.1 million, however, was up 12.41 percent from last weekend's $157.6 million take.

The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: DreamWorks' PG-rated Shrek 2, which stayed big at No. 1 in its second week with a four-day total of $95.5 million in 4,223 theaters, averaging $22,633 per theater; 20th Century Fox's PG-13 The Day After Tomorrow, which opened in second place with $85.8 million in 3,425 theaters, averaging $25,053 per theater; and Warner Bros. R-rated Troy, which dropped to third place in its third week with $15.3 million in 3,411 theaters, averaging $4,497 per theater.

(This week's box office Top 10 below...)

BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES: 4-Day Totals

(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)

No. 1: Star Wars: Episode III-Revenge of the Sith (20th Century Fox, PG-13)

Gross: $70.7 million (-49%)

Weeks opened: 2

Theaters: 3,663 (+2)

Per-theater average: $19,315

Cume to date: $271.1 million

No. 2: Madagascar (DreamWorks, PG)

Gross: $61 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 4,131

Per-theater average: $14,766

No. 3: The Longest Yard (Paramount Pictures, PG-13)

Gross: $60 million

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 3,634

Per-theater average: $16,511

No. 4: Monster-in-Law (New Line Cinema, PG-13)

Gross: $11 million (-36%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 3,230 (-194)

Per-theater average: $3,429

Cume to date: $60.7 million

No. 5: Kicking & Screaming (Universal Pictures, PG)

Gross: $6.6 million (-55%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 2,966 (-504)

Per-theater average: $2,225

Cume to date: $44.2 million

No. 6: Crash (Lions Gate, R)

Gross: $6 million (-15%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 1,680 (-225)

Per-theater average: $3,571

Cume to date: $36.1 million

No. 7: The Interpreter (Universal, PG-13)

Gross: $2.6 million (-24%)

Weeks opened: 6

Theaters: 1,171 (-993)

Per-theater average: $2,220

Cume to date: $69.2 million

No. 8: Unleashed (Focus Features, R)

Gross: $2.3 million (-55%)

Weeks opened: 3

Theaters: 1,419 (-543)

Per-theater average: $1,633

Cume to date: $21.9 million

No. 9: Kingdom of Heaven (20th Century Fox, R)

Gross: $2.2 million (-52%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 1,328 (-1,480)

Per-theater average: $1,657

Cume to date: $45 million

No. 10: House of Wax (Warner Bros., R)

Gross: $1.6 million (-61%)

Weeks opened: 4

Theaters: 1,635 (-1,130)

Per-theater average: $1,003

Cume to date: $29.8 million

OTHER OPENINGS

Saving Face (Sony Pictures Classics, R)

Gross: $100,001

Weeks opened: NEW!

Theaters: 6

Per-theater average: $16,667

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