Ben Stiller Beats Down Terminator SalvationMay 25th, 2009 - 7:18 pm ICT by Sampurn Wire
Terminator Salvation isn’t being terminated exactly. But it is being denied.
Ben Stiller’s Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, not the latest Terminator film, was winning the Memorial Day weekend box office. And it wasn’t all that close.
Smithsonian is estimated to gross $53.5 million from Friday-Sunday; Salvation is down for $43 million for the same stretch.
Four-day weekend estimates will be out tomorrow.
“I think most people felt Terminator was going to win the weekend,” Chris Aronson, an exec for Smithsonian’s Fox, said today. “I think it’s a testament to comedy is king.”
If estimates hold, Salvation’s initial three-day weekend gross 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 only made about $3 million more than the comedy and looks to fall short of its reputed $200 million budget on the domestic side.
Drilling down into the numbers:
• Smithsonian is Stiller’s biggest-opening live-action (read: non-Madagascar) movie ever. And it’s more than $20 million bigger than the original Night at the Museum’s Friday-Sunday debut in 2006.
• On Friday, Smithsonian’s margin of victory 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. -Sampurn Media
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