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Monday, May 26, 2008

'Indy IV' rakes in $151.1m in first five days, May 23-26, 2008

Finally putting to rest the idea that Harrison Ford was old to pull off an action-adventure flick, or that the revival of Indiana Jones was about ten years too late, Steven Spielberg's long awaited sequel Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull dominated the Memorial Day holiday weekend, grossing more than the rest of the marketplace combined.

Earning $126 million over the four-day holiday weekend (Friday-Monday), and a staggering $151.1 million since its launch on Thursday, the Harrison Ford starrer became the tenth biggest 3-day opening of all-time ($101 million over Friday-Sunday), and sixth biggest 5-day opening ever. It was also the second largest Memorial Day weekend bow in history, behind only Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End with $139.8 million.

Playing in an ultrawide 4,260 theaters, the $185 million budgeted Paramount-LucasFilms release averaged a sizzling $23,709 over the Friday-Sunday portion of the weekend, and saw a hefty 19% spike in ticket sales from Friday to Saturday ($31m up to $37m), a good sign for the film's summer longevity. Reviews for the film were mixed, but mostly positive.

Internationally Indy IV was even better, pulling in $160 million since its launch on Wednesday. That puts the film's six-day worldwide take at a ridiculous $311 million.

Still, the monumental Memorial Day opening didn't seem to lift the rest of the marketplace, as the box office posted its worst Memorial Day weekend in five years. Part of the reason was the steep sophomore frame decline of what was an already disappointing debut last week for Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, which stumbled 58% over the three-day portion of the weekend to $28.6 million in second.

In eleven days the $200 million budgeted fantasy sequel has grossed a lackluster $91 million, which puts it on pace to finish with a North American total of under $150 million. 2005's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe took in $291 million back in 2005. The numbers put into serious doubt whether Disney has found its cash cow fantasy franchise to rival Warner's Harry Potter and New Line's Lord of the Rings.

Iron Man, the biggest hit of 2008, slipped just 36% to $20.1 million over Friday-Sunday and $25.7 million over the four-day frame, pushing its four week cume to a lofty $257.8 million. That easily puts the film on track to break $300 million domestically, delivering to Marvel Studios an incredible start to a bona fide megahit franchise.

Despite the strength of Indy IV and a nice hold from Iron Man, the weakness from Prince Caspian gave the top ten a $212 million four-day cume, down 13% from last year's comparable frame when Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End set sail with a record $139.8 million. It was down 8% from 2006 when X-Men: The Last Stand debuted in the top spot with $102.8 million.

As for our last poll, it looks like the majority of you thought, correctly, that Indy IV would gross close to or over $100 million this weekend. Nice work for everyone who guessed $100+ million, I thought Indy would come in around $85-90 million over the Friday-Sunday portion for the weekend, and $125 million in its first five days.

Be sure to enter your guesses for this coming weekend in our new poll!

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