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Box Office Update 5/23-5/25: Indiana Jones Easily Defeats Prince Caspian

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This weekend saw the long-awaited return of beloved adventurer Indiana Jones to the big screen in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The film had its official open on Thursday and it has not looked back since. It hit fast, taking in $25 million on its opening day and then crossing $30 million on its second day. The strong opening also made the new adventure the fastest film to reach $100 million this year, not that it has had much competition outside of Iron Man. The film is far from perfect, but still a lot of fun. It will be interesting to see how it holds up next weekend since it will not have any new direct competition.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was the only film released wide this weekend, therefore it was the only one posing a threat to last weekend's top film, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Unfortunately, its opening weekend, while respectable, was below expectations and really did not stand a chance this weekend. Its May release, sandwiched between the likes of Iron Man and Indiana Jones, did not do it any favors. It probably would have fared a bit better if it had been a Christmas season release like the first film. Then again, I do not think the film was all that great; quality and word of mouth have to count for something, and I do not believe they are working in the movie's favor.

Prince Caspian was not the only film to suffer a steep drop this weekend; both Speed Racer and the Harold & Kumar sequel also fell more than 50% from last week. Both drops were likely anticipated, considering the disastrous release of Speed Racer, and the fast aging Harold & Kumar.

On the other side of the coin, the majority of the returning films fared well over the holiday weekend. Most notably, Iron Man continues its money-making course. This film has to be considered a huge success for the newly formed Marvel Studios, as the film has a definite shot of crossing $300 million. Also, comedies are doing well hanging on to their audience; this includes Baby Mama, Made of Honor, and the excellent Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Rounding out the top ten is the independent drama The Visitor. It hung onto the ten slot for its second week. I find this to be impressive considering the modest aspirations and lack of a name star.

Next week will see Sex and the City and The Strangers go wide. The former should be considered a minor threat to Indy's box office supremacy, although it is unlikely that it will unseat the adventure film. The Strangers was bounced around the schedule for a while and will likely have a decent opening, but will not last long in the top ten.

One movie dropped off the top ten this week: The Forbidden Kingdom (11).

Figures are studio estimates, figures have been delayed due to the holiday. 

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $101,000,000 $126,000,000 1
2 1 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian $23,032,000 $91,077,000 2
3 2 Iron Man $20,147,000 $252,314,000 4
4 3 What Happens in Vegas $9,000,000 $54,246,000 3
5 4 Speed Racer $4,000,000 $36,213,000 3
6 5 Made of Honor $3,400,000 $39,061,000 4
7 6 Baby Mama $3,323,000 $52,131,000 5
8 7 Forgetting Sarah Marshall $1,666,000 $58,195,000 6
9 8 Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay $915,000 $35,908,000 5
10 10 The Visitor $781,000 $4,432,000 7

Box Office Predictions Recap

As expected, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull cleaned up at the box office this weekend, and I came pretty close to getting the gross right, I just came up a little bit short. Overall, this has been one of strongest frame of predictions this year. Of course, with only one film opening, and it's expected strong open, it was pretty easy to pick the winners. The only one I was not correct (or even close) on was The Forbidden Kingdom, but then I was not aware of it dropping out of more than 500 theaters. Still, I am pretty happy with my guesses this week, it's not often that I get them this close.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $101,000,000 $98 million
2 2 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian $23,032,000 $28 million
3 3 Iron Man $20,147,000 $19 million
4 4 What Happens in Vegas $9,000,000 $9 million
5 5

Speed Racer

$4,000,000 $5 million
6 6 Made of Honor $3,400,000 $4 million
7 7 Baby Mama $3,323,000 $3.5 million
8 8 Forgetting Sarah Marshall $1,666,000 $2 million
9 9 Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay $915,000 $1.25 million
11 10 The Forbidden Kingdom $355,000 $1 million

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