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Box Office: Paramount Finds Memorial Day Treasure with INDY

Indiana Jones whips his way into the top spot.

By Jarrod Sarafin     May 25, 2008

Indy (Harrison Ford) and Shia LaBeouf inspect some ruins in INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL(2008).
© Paramount Pictures


Nineteen years ago, a movie that was believed to be wrapping up a popular franchise was finishing its opening weekend right around this time. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade premiered on 2,327 theaters on May 24, 1989 and tallied up a 29.3 mil weekend score over that memorial day holiday. The third film would go onward to gross 197.1 mil domestically and another 277.0 mil in foreign territories.

Now, we fast forward nearly two decades and Indy is still punching hard at the theaters. The long awaited fourth installment of the franchise opened up in 4,260 theaters this Memorial Day weekend and has 151.0 mil to show for it (with Thursday and Monday). This has in 2nd place of All Time Memorial Day openings behind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.. Update: The early international numbers are in and it's looking like this adventure has pulled in another 146.4 mil in oversea territories for the weekend (with Thursday). This has it's worldwide gross at $297.5 mil at this moment. When Monday's international numbers come in for this holiday weekend, I'll update the numbers again.  Paramount and the folks at Lucasfilm have something to celebrate.

In comparison to last year’s Memorial Day holiday, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End pulled in 127.9 mil (with Thursday) and 153.0 mil (with Monday attached). The flick would go on to gross 309.4 mil domestically and another 651.5 mil in oversea numbers, making it the #1 worldwide film of 2007 behind Harry Potter 5’s 938.5 mil total.

Can Indy repeat the feat and become the #1 worldwide grosser of 2008? We shall see…

Following in 2nd place for this weekend is the second installment of the Chronicles of Narnia franchise, Prince Caspian. The film is still showing in 3,929 theaters across the nation and pulled in another 23.0 mil at the box office. It still has a way to go before it gets to its 200 mil budget but in 10 days of release, it has a 91.0 mil domestic gross and 22.1 foreign (last weekend’s numbers). It seems to be mirroring Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, which also dropped to 2nd place in its second weekend behind King Kong opening up. In ten days of release, the first installment had 113.1 mil domestically though.

Iron Man continues to kick some box office ass this weekend, taking the 3rd spot in its fourth week of release at the theaters. The first installment (of a likely trilogy) has pulled in another 20.1 mil on its 3,915 theaters, the first weekend that it was below the 4,000 print mark. In 24 days of release, “Iron” has pulled in 252.3 mil domestically and another 207.7 mil in foreign sales. Obviously with a worldwide take of 460.0 mil and a budget of 140 mil, Paramount has something to be happy about here. In fact, with Indy and Iron Man both managed by them, they have a lot to be happy about.

None of the rest of the films hit the 10 mil mark…

The alternative choice focused film What Happens in Vegas continues to laugh at the poor Speed Racer. Both films hit theaters at the same time and WHIV continues to beat Speedy every weekend thus far. This weekend, while the film is still showing on 3,188 prints, the film took in another 9.0 mil at the box office. The Ashton K. film has grossed 54.2 mil domestically with a budget kept low at 35 mil.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has a Speed Wreck on their hands here. So does the Wachowski brothers. The film, which hasn’t landed higher than 3rd place since opening lands in 5th place this weekend with it only tallying up another 4.0 mil on its 3,112 prints. This means it averaged only $1,285 per showing. The anime adaptation has a budget of 120 mil and yet it has only grossed 36.2 mil in three weeks. Clearly, it’s in the running for the bomb of the summer. But let’s not break out the crystal ball just yet. We could have another bomb very shortly for all we know.

Sony Pictures has managed to almost touch their budget line with the other alternative choice of May 2008, Made of Honor. The Patrick Dempsey movie pulled in another 3.4 mil this weekend in its fourth week of release. It has grossed 39.0 mil domestically and it has a budget of 40.

Following in 7th place is Tina Fey’s Baby Mama pulling in another 3.3 mil this weekend. In five weeks of the release, the film has grossed 52.1 mil domestically over a budget of just 30.

Universal owns the 7th with its Baby Mama and they also own the 8th place with its other comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, which is likewise over their budget line, this time nearly doubling it. The Segel-led production grabbed another 1.6 mil this weekend and has grossed 58.1 mil in domestic markets. It has a budget of 30 mil.

9th and 10th place didn’t even touch the 1.0 mil mark. Harold and Kumar 2, which is a success due to its extremely low budget, pulled in $915,000 on its 750 prints across the nation. Thanks to its budget being only 12 mil, it’s domestic gross of 35.9 mil is good for the now dismantled New Line distributor. Meanwhile, The Visitor maintained the 10th spot for the second consecutive weekend in a row by pulling in $781,000 on its 270 prints. This means it actually increased 16% in totals from its previous weekend rather than dropping. In 7 weeks of release, it has only 4.4 mil domestically.

Indiana Jones 4
101.0 mil
126.0 mil
Prince Caspian
23.0 mil
91.0 mil
Iron Man
20.1 mil
252.3 mil
What Happens in Vegas
9.0 mil
54.2 mil
Speed Racer
4.0 mil
36.2 mil
Made of Honor
3.4 mil
39.0 mil
Baby Mama
3.3 mil
52.1 mil
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
1.6 mil
58.1 mil
Harold and Kumar 2
35.9 mil
The Visitor
4.4 mil

Now that we’re a few weeks into summer, let’s start looking at the overall results for the summer movies below, just as we did last summer.

Iron Man Numbers:
Budget: 140 mil

Opening: 98.6 mil
252.3 mil
207.7 mil
460.0 mil so far

Indiana Jones 4 Numbers:

Budget: 185 mil
101.0 mil
126.0 mil

Foreign: N/A yet
126.0 mil so far.

Prince Caspian Numbers:
Budget: 200 mil

Opening: 55.0 mil
91.0 mil

Foreign: 22.1 mil
113.2 mil

Speed Racer Numbers:
Budget: 120 mil

Opening: 18.5 mil
36.2 mil

Foreign: 24.6 mil
60.8 mil


I’m sure Indiana will continue to mount up numbers over the next week with school getting out around the country and onward through next weekend. I can see Sex and the City taking a “small” bite out of Indy, Prince Caspian and Iron next weekend just because it’s an alternative choice but all three films should continue steamrolling onward into June with no problems.

I would say now would be the time to give Speedy some CPR but that means there’s hope for it. Probably better to just pronounce it dead now and move on, right?

By the way, Manaics. Feel free to begin guessing your top grossing films of Summer 2008. Who do you think will win it all? Who do you think will bomb the worst, if not Speed already? Let us know your thoughts below!

Friday May 30 Releases
Sex and the City (3,100+ theaters)
The Strangers (2,400+ theaters)



Showing items 1 - 10 of 38
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calhob 5/25/2008 2:11:35 PM
Um... I can't read the entire right side of the page due to those ads and frames. Grrr... Indy4 was okay... I hated the vines scene (thanks Lucas, you bastard for that scene because it looked like it came right out of the SW prequels). But it was a fun movie. The money is just what I thought but I think Dark Knight will surpass that total. I say it has a 140 million dollar opening weekend.
laforcer69@yahoo.com_home 5/25/2008 2:22:08 PM
Holly Shit! That is a great number and Sunday is not even over with yet so that number is going to get even bigger...I think it's going to surpass Iron Man...What was Iron Mans 3 day total anyways, anyone? I have not seen it yet and will probably get around to it next weekend so I will be in the numbers then but I am surprised, I mean I knew it was going to do good but that is awesome, especially since the day is not over yet and the holiday is going to add to that also... It's to bad that mixed opinions have come in and all over the board on this movie because it should have really been one sided and that's on the, it's a good movie side but there are a lot of haters out there who have nothing better to do than hate and throw there negative vibes around everywhere they go and there has been a lot of that lately on a number of movies that have come out this year but hey what can you do, right? Anyways, it's good to see Indy back on the big screen...
mckracken 5/25/2008 2:27:10 PM
it WAS a fun movie, no knocking that. I you didnt like the vines scene, you probably were bothered by the CGI gophers too. (those gophers,while CGI, really are ALL over the Nevada desert. Somebody in the film crew probably saw them and desided to put them in the movie, its not like they danced or anything.) The vines didnt bother me, dropping the Atomic Bomb scene did it for me and his escape was a wee tad over the top, (just a tiny bit) then he looks at the blast afterwards - LOL!! Mutt gets stung by a scorpion and nothing happens? Onatop gets bitten by a fire ant and nothing happens? hmm.. ok that is as minor as repeatedly shooting at point blank range and missing. but the bomb was the biggest and most absurd leap of faith, I think it did it for me. also the Mania site wont let me LOG INTO THE MANIACS FORUMS section!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wiseguy 5/25/2008 2:53:25 PM
mck, I agree with the bomb part, that was way too much. I liked the movie, just wished they stayed away from the sci/fi stuff. Indy to me is old fashion action with fantasy.<BR /><BR />Narnia took a big drop and I really expected IM to jump to #2. Hope it has legs if you want to see the franchise continue.<BR /><BR />Wall-E is going to kick everyone's ass this summer, including the Dark Knight. The DK opens against Space Chimps for the kids and Mamma Mia for the ladies, that's going to hurt its opening.<BR /><BR />Looking forward to The Strangers next weekend. Looks really disturbing and scary.
cso1982 5/25/2008 3:33:18 PM
No need to attack mlaforcer. I think he was just trying to say that it would be the most ultimate example of irony history ever wtinessed if that happened. Irony is a literary device. It's also used in movies. An example would be when Indy was not amused of Mutt's motorcycle stunts just as once Indy's own father was not amused at his motorcycle stunt work in "Last Crusade." In conclusion, since it was a satirical comment involving irony, which is used in movies, and incidentally used in the movie in which this post is the ultimate subject of, the comment was relevant. The matter is thus put to rest. Anyone lacking a sense of humor and finding it offensive should cease and desist breathing. P.S. I just drew a cartoon character of mohammed.
hanso 5/25/2008 3:53:55 PM
I really wanted to love this movie but in the end Indy was just alright and it's probably the worst of the sequels. Still don't know why they gave it an A on this site while Iron Man only got a B, that is still puzzling. I too could've done without the sci/fi. I also could've done with less CGI. Anyway, glad Indy is back, glad the movie is doing well and I recommend going to see this film at the movies to everyone. I look foward to a sequel with Ford & Labeouf, hopefully it won't take 20 years for the next one though. I can also see the franchise going with Shia as the lead although if they let his character age the movie would move closer to the 70s, so I don't know how that would work out.
velgron 5/25/2008 5:39:04 PM
"Indiana Jones Light" was worth seeing at the movies, It was an entertaining "tribute" movie. But budget vs budget... The Ironman team returned a better picture for less moolah. IMO
iceman71 5/25/2008 5:59:16 PM
just came back from the new Indiana Jones movie... in a few words: GOOD SUMMER FLICK. All those who complain for this and that, well, get a life. I mean, it's not like a summer blockbuster is going to win it all at the next oscars, so stop whinin', bitches!!!
laforcer69@yahoo.com_home 5/25/2008 6:51:42 PM
Oh man! you mean I can't be vulgar anymore? They must me monitoring comments now because I have been edited or should I say deleted...Oh well...It was a good run as far as being vulgar and an asshole and now I must conform and be just like the rest of you automaton robots, well not like the rest but like the most of you, well not like most of you but some of you, o.k. not like some of you because I don't want to leave anyone out except the Christians...I am so looking forward to seeing this and might just catch it during the week instead of next weekend then of course my son gets back from Indonesian Islands from his surf trip this weekend so I might end up watching it twice, we'll see how it goes...
RaithManan 5/25/2008 11:46:52 PM
I saw Indy yesterday and it was a fun ride. Not as spectacular as Raiders or The Last Crusade, but definitely put it over the Temple of Doom unless you can tolerate Kate Capshaw being the most obnoxious and most annoying damsel in distress in movie history since much of her lines was mostly a dose of SCREAMING, but yet a talented actress. Makes you wonder why she hasn't seen a good deal of work over the years......maybe her screaming turn studios off, even to her hubby Spielberg. Nonetheless, I said it last week, don't be surprised by the box office take. Spielberg's name alone draws money before you even think about the movie itself. As far as Wall-E goes, since 80% of the film is gonna mostly be a bunch of R2-D2 type dialogue...atleast it beats Disney's other trailer I seen last week when I saw Caspian, the god-awfully mind-boggling Beverly Hills about REALLY REACHING with that concept. You'd figured they not attempt something like that for a while after last year's disasterous Underdog. Other than Dark Knight, Hancock, Wall-E and Hellboy 2 and Zohan as sure fire hits, the rest seem like a mixed bag with The Hulk being the most skeptical considering its gotten a lot of negative progress reports over the past 2 months in post production mayhem with Norton vs Universal, and the scoops haven't gotten any prettier with Norton refusing to promote it. All too familiar territory when Snipes refused to promote Blade: Trinity when he wasn't too happy with the direction of the project.
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