North American box office: museum guard trounces Terminator

These holiday shortened weeks seem to disappear twice as fast as the regular ones, even though they’re only one day shorter. How is it practically the weekend again already?:

1. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian: $70.1 million (NEW)
2. Terminator Salvation: $51.9 million (NEW)
3. Star Trek: $29.4 million (3rd week; drops 32%)
4. Angels & Demons: $27.4 million (2nd week; drops 41%)
5. Dance Flick: $12.6 million (NEW)

actual numbers, not estimates
Looks like that plan to get Terminator Salvation out in front of audiences a day early, by opening it on Thursday (ie, Wednesday night) may have hurt the film: the Monday estimates were more optimistic than the actuals, which means word of mouth got worse over the course of the weekend. But even when the takings from that extra day, before word of mouth started in earnest, are added in, Salvation’s total for its five-day debut comes up to only a little over $65 million. Which means that Night at the Museum 2 took in more dough in four days than Salvation did in five. Ouch.

Of course, the fact that Monsters vs. Aliens, the most recent flick suitable for the whole family, is two months old helped: if you wanted to take little kids to the movies this weekend, Museum was pretty much your only choice.

I find it very interesting that Star Trek and Angels & Demons continue to remain pretty much neck-and-neck — and it’s even closer when you consider that Trek added almost 200 screens this weekend, and Angels added none. Maybe it means a slightly different tone to the summer, where grownup popcorn movies can hold their own against the ones aimed more at the kids.

[numbers via Box Office Mojo]

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