US box office report – 23rd May

Hmmm, what would people have been going to see this weekend, we wonder? Actually, no, we don't: it's pretty obvious.

Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Someone must’ve slipped some extra strong laxatives in Harrison Ford’s drink, because Indiana Jones has been going strong all weekend.

As expected, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull absolutely killed at the holiday box office, with a three-day total of $101 million dollars and a four-day opening of over $126 million. With a worldwide opening of $272 million, it’s pretty safe to say that the Indy franchise has a surprising amount of leg left, considering the last movie in the series came out almost exactly 19 years ago (May 24, 1989 versus May 22, 2008). That’s the fifth-highest worldwide opening of all time, which means Indy is a global icon.

Among holdovers, the disappointing Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian took second place with a meager $23 million, while Iron Man continues to pummel the opposition with a take of $20 million (for a total of $252 million in the US and $485 million worldwide). After that, though, the box office is fairly disappointing. What Happens in Vegas continues to somehow sputter along, with $9 million, Made of Honor brought in $3.35 million, The Visitor managed $735 thousand, and three comedies filled in the gap (Baby Mama squeaked out with 3.32 million, Forgetting Sarah Marshall continues to be forgotten about with $1.75 million, and Harold and Kumar escaped from Guantanamo Bay with $940 thousand dollars).

I skipped a movie in the middle.

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With $3.9 million, the fifth-place movie this weekend was Speed Racer. Its domestic box office total of $36 million is pretty lousy, to put it mildly. I’m trying not to kick a pair when they’re down, but I really don’t think studios will trust the Wachowskis with a couple hundred million dollars again, unless of course Speed Racer sells like hotcakes on DVD. They look like a couple of one-trick ponies after the awful Matrix sequels and the incredibly overrated V for Vendetta. Maybe the brothers need an actual director (and writer) to set them straight; perhaps they’ll surprise me and make a movie without special effects for once. I don’t know what they might do, but I can tell you for sure this isn’t it.