Ben Stiller Finishes Off Terminator Salvation

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Ben Stiller Finishes Off Terminator Salvation

Post  rottensoilder on Mon 25 May 2009, 21:22

By Joal Ryan

One movie grossed $70 million over the long Memorial Day weekend, all right. It just wasn't

Terminator Salvation.

Ben Stiller's Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian ran away from the latest Terminator film,

and the rest of the box-office pack, grossing an estimated $70 million from Friday-Monday.

Salvation bowed in second, taking in $53.8 million over the same four-day period, and falling short of


"I think most people felt Terminator was going to win the weekend," Chris Aronson, an exec for

Smithsonian's Fox, said Sunday. "I think it's a testament to comedy is king."

Salvation, meanwhile, might be a testament to what a good job Star Trek is doing.

Or to put it another way: Restarting a franchise isn't as easy, or big, as the $191 million-grossing Trek

is making it look.

If estimates hold, Salvation's Friday-Sunday debut will be $1 million less than Terminator 3: Rise of the

Machines took in six summers ago. Since opening Thursday, one full day ahead of Smithsonian, it's

now made $3 million less than the Stiller comedy.

Drilling down into the numbers:

• Smithsonian is Stiller's biggest-opening live-action (read: non-Madagascar) movie ever. And it's Friday

-Sunday take of $53.5 million was more than $20 million bigger than the original Night at the

Museum's three-day debut in 2006.

• On Friday, Smithsonian's lead over Salvation was slim: Less than $500,000 separated the two

movies. On Saturday, Smithsonian's business jumped 30 percent; Salvation's dipped about 2 percent—

and the rout was on.

• After five days, Terminator Salvation's domestic take stands at an estimated $67.2 million, a long

way away from its reputed $200 million budget.

• Star Trek held well—again. It took in another $29 million through today and leapfrogged last

weekend's champ, Angels & Demons ($27.5 million Friday-Monday), for third place.

• Among spoof comedies, Dance Flick ($10.7 million Friday-Sunday, $13.1 million Friday-Monday) fell

somewhere between Date Movie ($19.1 million three-day debut in 2006) and Superhero Movie ($9.5

million in 2008), and nowhere near the Wayans family's original Scary Movie ($42.3 million in 2000).

• The Soloist ($1.1 million Friday-Monday) disappeared from the Top 10 after four weekends and a

$29.5 million run.

• In limited release, the terribly British period comedy Easy Virtue ($146,140 Friday-Monday at 10

theaters) outdid, theater for theater, Steven Soderbergh's collaboration with porn star Sasha Grey,

The Girlfriend Experience ($215,000 Friday-Monday at 30 theaters).

• The second weekend wasn't better than the first for Jennifer Aniston's Management ($207,215

Friday-Monday at 110 theaters).

Here's a complete look at the holiday weekend's top-grossing films based on Friday-Monday estimates

as compiled by Exhibitor Relations:

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, $70 million
Terminator Salvation, $53.8 million
Star Trek, $29.4 million
Angels & Demons, $27.5 million
Dance Flick, $13.1 million
X-Men Origins: Wolverine, $10 million
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, $4.8 million
Obsessed, $2.5 million
Monsters vs Aliens, $1.9 million
17 Again, $1.3 million

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